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Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

After facing flak from the transgender community, the Centre has done away with the requirement of a medical examination for trans persons applying for a certificate of identity in its latest draft rules framed under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

Overview of the draft ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020’:

  1. All educational institutions are to have a committee which transgender persons can approach in case of any harassment or discrimination.
  2. The “appropriate government” is also required to take adequate steps to “prohibit discrimination in any government or private organisation or establishment.”
  3. States will be responsible for “timely prosecution of individuals” charged under Section 18 of the Act which proscribes offences against the transgender community and penalties therein.
  4. The offences would be punishable with imprisonment for six months upto two years, with a fine.
  5. State governments will have to set up a Transgender Protection Cell under the District Magistrate and DGP to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons and implement Section 18.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019:

Definition of a transgender person:

  • It defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
  • Intersex variations is defined to mean a person who at birth shows variation in his or her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from the normative standard of male or female body.

Prohibition against discrimination: Any person who is found to be compelling a transgender person into bonded labour denying right of public passage to a transgender person, evicting a transgender from his/her place of residence, causing physical, sexual, verbal, economic and emotional abuse, can be penalised with imprisonment of not less than six months, that can extend up to two years.

The bill has a provision that provides transgender the right of residence with parents and immediate family members.


The law was a consequence of the directions of the Supreme Court of India in the National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India case judgment, mandating the Central and State governments to ensure legal recognition of all transgender persons and proactive measures instituted for their welfare.

It calls for establishing a National Council for Transgender persons (NCT).

The NCT will consist of:

  1. Union Minister for Social Justice (Chairperson)
  2. Minister of State for Social Justice (Vice-Chairperson)
  3. Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice
  4. One representative from ministries including Health, Home Affairs, and Human Resources Development.
  5. Other members include representatives of the NITI Aayog and the National Human Rights Commission.  State governments will also be represented. The Council will also consist of five members from the transgender community and five experts from non-governmental organizations.


Prelims Link:

  1. Transgender- definition.
  2. NCT- composition.
  3. How a bill is passed in the parliament- procedure to be followed.
  4. NHRC- composition.
  5. Overview of right to freedom and rights against discrimination.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the act and concerns to be addressed.

Sources: the Hindu.