Thursday, February 9, 2023

Tripura High Court directs LGBTQIA and community to represent their grievances before Government

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The Tripura High Court directed that the  LGBTQIA + community (loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer individuals united by a common culture and social movements) for representing before the government their grievances .

The Court said that on receipt of such representation, the government shall consider and take appropriate steps following the judgments of Supreme Court  in  National Legal Services Authority versus Union of India reported in (2014) 5 SCC 438 in true letter and spirit.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice T. Amarnath Goud (Acting) and Justice S.G. Chattopadhyay closed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed praying for necessary directions from the  High Court upon the respondent to act in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court vide judgment in National Legal Services Authority versus Union of India reported in (2014) 5 SCC 438. 

The petitioners have further prayed for directions from the  High Court to direct a judicial inquiry by the District Judge of the incident of illegal detention and harassment, mentioned hereinafter, that occurred on the fateful night on 08.01.2022 for bringing out the circumstances under which four persons were illegally detained and harassed and to fix responsibility for taking action against those who were involved in the said illegal detention and harassment and to give compensation to the four persons mentioned hereinafter for their illegal detention and harassment on the fateful night of 08.01.2022 along with further directions upon the respondents to regularly organize seminars, awareness programs, workshops and Gender sensitization programs in all Government.

Departments so as to make the workspace more acceptable towards members of the LGBTQIA + community, and to inculcate subjects and chapters in the educational curriculum of Schools (Class-XI-XII) and Colleges specially B. Ed. Colleges, dealing with the LGBTQIA + community and their equal rights as citizens of India to which they are entitled.

Roy Barman, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners has contended that the orders passed by the apex court as referred above are by framing the guidelines of the LGBTQIA and third gender cases have not been carried out by the Government of Tripura.

Further, he has contended that on 08.01.2022, the petitioner and other persons were put to harassment by the reporter and few other police officials and thus seeking relief, the petitioner has approached this court by filing this petition.   

D. Bhattacharya,Government Advocate appearing for the respondents has placed on record the instructions received from the respondents stating that in view of the public menace caused by the petitioner and other person in collecting money on the streets by changing their costumes, the police has taken them into custody and registered the cases and also gave them counseling and further showed that such type of counseling on this people will be held periodically.    

Roy Barman, denied the contentions which are given in the written instructions by the respondents and contended that this is only harassment of the police department against the petitioners.   

“Having heard the counsel for the parties prima facie this court is not satisfied that this litigation falls under Public Interest Litigation. Since the counsel for the petitioner is for the larger interest of the LGBTQIA + community, a liberty is given to the petitioner that all such kinds of people to represent before the government through their association ventilating their grievances and on receipt of such representation, the government shall    consider and take appropriate steps following the judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court in true letter and spirit.

Further with regard to the cases registered against the petitioners it is open for the petitioners to take appropriate steps”,the order reads.

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