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Transgenders entitled to special quota for education, public employment through separate merit list: Madras HC

Court approves injunction amid subpoena filed by trans woman seeking nursing degree

Court approves injunction amid subpoena filed by trans woman seeking nursing degree

If the government is of the opinion that reserving a certain percentage for transgender people in education and public service could lead to those seats/posts becoming vacant in the absence of sufficient candidates, it can examine the applications of the transgender candidates in a special category by a separate merit list for them, the Madras High Court said.

Judge R. Suresh Kumar made the observations while serving a subpoena filed by trans woman S. Tamilselvi, who was aggrieved by the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) that the transgender candidates who applied for admission to a graduate degree program in nursing under a special category. She was ranked 280 in the merit list compiled for the Most Backward Class (MBC) women’s category.

The court was notified that transgender applicants were eligible to apply under the Registered Castes or Scheduled Tribe categories if they held community certificates. Those who did not have a community certificate were allowed to participate in the MBC category. The court was also told that reserving some seats for them could Result in them becoming vacant as their population numbers were low.

However, Justice Kumar pointed out that the applicant had completed a nursing degree in 2018 based on a court order to place her in a special category. Therefore, it would not be fair to deny a similar benefit for admission to the graduate course now. If the petitioner fell under a special category, she would be at the top of the list and not be ranked 280, he said.

The judge further recalled that in 2014 the Supreme Court ordered central and state governments to treat transgender people as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and to make all sorts of reservations about admission to educational institutions and public employment. Five years later, parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019.

However, an exclusive reservation for the transgender in education and public employment has not been foreseen until now. The judge ruled that the applicant qualifies for a special category and instructed the DME to prepare a separate merit list for transgender applicants and grant her admission based on inter se merit among the transgender candidates.

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