New Delhi, November 27, 2016: In a commendable move, Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have included “transgender as the third gender” in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female.
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According to PTI, “The decision which was taken on a representation made by a lawyer will include the facility for reservations and cancellations, both online as well offline.”
The Delhi-based lawyer made the representation after the Delhi High Court in February asked him to approach the Railway Ministry while disposing of his petition.
The ministry in its circular referred to the direction of the apex court of April 2014 and said that eunuchs, hijras, apart from binary gender, be treated as third gender for the protection of their rights.
“Supreme Court (in the judgement) has directed that Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as the third gender for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the parliament and the State Legislature. “
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“It has, therefore, been decided to include the third gender/transgender option alongside male/female in reservation /cancellation requisition form. This information will be captured by the system and tickets to transgender will be issued on full fare,” the circular stated.
Before the High Court, Advocate Jamshed Ansari in his PIL had alleged violation of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution by IRCTC, by non-inclusion of “transgender/third gender” as a gender option in its reservation and cancellation forms.
He had also sought compliance of the apex court judgment in which it directed the Centre as well as the state governments to recognise transgender as the third sex, and to give them with the benefits provided to socially and economically backward classes.
The advocate further demanded reserved seats and special coaches for the transgender community in all trains, for their protection and care.
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On which the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini had asked the ministry to look into the allegation made in the writ petition.
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