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High Court grants Delhi government 8 weeks to construct public toilets for transgender persons

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The High Court of Delhi has granted the ‘final’ opportunity of eight weeks to the Delhi government and local authorities to ensure construction of separate public toilets for transgender persons in the national capital.

The order was passed by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on Tuesday on a public interest litigation seeking establishment of separate public toilets for the transgender community.

Taking in consideration the status report filed by the Delhi Government, the High Court  observed that although the government was taking appropriate action in accordance with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, no toilets have been constructed so far for the transgender population at all.

The Division Bench, while seeking a fresh status report on the number of toilets constructed and the facilities extended to transgender persons, directed the Delhi government, as well as the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), to ensure expeditious construction of public toilets for transgenders within the next eight weeks. 

In case of non-compliance of orders, the High Court warned that it would summon the NDMC Chairman and the Secretary of PWD on the next date of hearing. The Bench listed the matter for further hearing on July 14.

During the course of hearing, the Counsel for NDMC apprised the Court that it had filed a similar status report stating that the process of construction of toilets for transgender persons was underway and has also enclosed a feasibility report in the matter.

The ground reality was that nothing had been done except for paperwork, noted the Bench and directed other local bodies and organisations, including the Municipal Council of Delhi, to file a detailed status report in respect of the total number of toilets constructed for the transgender community.

(Case title: Jasmine Kaur Chhabra vs UOI & Ors)

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