Kerala HC dismisses PSC's plea over job application of transgender person for SI post

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: The Kerala High Court upheld the Kerala Administrative Tribunal’s (KAT) order directing the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) to consider the job application of a transgender for a sub-inspector (SI) post.

The division bench of the court also dismissed PSC’s plea questioning the tribunal order to temporarily consider the job application of Ernakulam native Arjun Geetha.

Geetha, who is a transman, (assigned female at birth but identifies as a man), was an aspirant for a job with the Kerala police for the post of sub-inspector under the Armed Police Battalion.

He was successful in applying but the notification did not mention physical standards for transgender persons. Hence, Geetha argued that by not providing for the relaxed physical requirement for transgender persons, the notification was bad in law.

For the posts of woman police constable and army police sub-inspector (trainee), Geetha was unable to apply as he was informed that he was ineligible because of his gender identity even though the latter position did not specify any impediment to apply merely because he is a transman.

The KAT passed an interim order in favour of Geetha which made the Kerala PSC move the present appeal before the High Court.

The Kerala HC while dismissing the appeal of the PSC said that KAT while passing the order correctly followed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The Court stated that the Special Rules, 1984 applicable to recruitment, which were relied upon by the Kerala PSC doesn't restrict the constitutional applicability of the Transgender Act of 2019.

"The order under review before us is the interim order of the Tribunal under challenge. We do not want to restrict the case of the transgender through the prism of Special Rules on which several grounds are raised and argued before us. The view of the Tribunal is within the framework of the Constitution of India and the act of Parliament," said the High Court.

The Court noted that the Kerala PSC has only looked at the ineligibility of Geetha who is a transgender person, through the prism of either General rules or Special rules.

Thereafter, the Court said that denying Geetha an opportunity would be contrary to the protection given to transgender persons by the Act of Parliament and dismissed the appeal of the PSC.

With IANS inputs

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