Comments on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020

All Reports & Reports by Vidhi Aid · May 14, 2020
Author(s): Akshat Agarwal and Dhvani Mehta

In April 2020, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment released the Draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 for public comments. These rules seek to operationalise the Act’s provisions on the process of self-identification of transgender persons and also contain provisions regarding  the socio-economic development of transgender persons in India. In response to the Ministry’s call for public comments, this submission critically analyses the Rules from a legal perspective. 

The submission comprises overall recommendations regarding the process of public consultation and the need for greater involvement of State Governments and also provides a detailed clause-by-clause analysis of the Rules. The recommendations stress on the need to actively involve members of the transgender community in the consultation process. It also suggests postponing the consultation process in light of the ongoing restrictive measures due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that have disproportionately impacted the transgender community and the pending constitutional challenges to the validity of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 in the Supreme Court. Given the constraints of the parent Act, the clause-by-clause recommendations are geared towards making the rules compatible with the constitutional right to self-identification as far as possible.  It further suggests changes to simplify the process of issuing the certificate of identity, making the process compatible with the right to privacy and introducing greater accountability and specificity in the welfare provisions aimed at the socio-economic development of transgender persons in India.

Download full report – Comments on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020

About Akshat Agarwal:

Akshat is a Research Fellow at Vidhi and currently works with the Vidhi Aid initiative. At Vidhi, he has advised on projects relating to the regulation of the digital economy, privacy and federalism. Currently, he is working on research projects relating to LGBT+ rights, withdrawal of care from terminally ill patients and public health. His research interests include public law, human rights, family law and gender and sexuality. Akshat is an alumnus of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and was previously an Associate at the leading Indian law firm Khaitan & Co., where he worked with their disputes and regulatory practices. He has been published in peer reviewed journals as well as media outlets such as The Wire, LiveMint etc., and has also contributed to international blogs such as the Oxford Human Rights Hub and the IACL-AIDC blog. He served as the Chief Editor of the National Law School of India Review and was also on the editorial board of the Indian Journal of International Economic Law. Link to full bio

About Dhvani Mehta:

Dr. Dhvani Mehta {B.L.S. LL.B. (University of Mumbai); BCL, D.Phil (Oxon)} is a Senior Resident Fellow and Team Lead of the Vidhi Aid initiative, where she works on environmental and health regulation, medical ethics and the right to education. She has worked specifically on research projects on environmental clearances, the National Green Tribunal, organ transplant laws, end of life care, and pharmaceutical and medical device regulation. She has appeared in the Supreme Court of India in petitions filed by Vidhi on advance medical directives and discrimination against persons affected by leprosy. She has authored chapters on the implementation of environmental judgments and healthcare corruption in India. Dhvani read for a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, where she was Chairperson of Oxford Pro Bono Publico and an editor of the Oxford Human Rights Hub blog. Her doctoral thesis explores the idea of an environmental rule of law in India and was cited by the Supreme Court of India.