Expressed anger at authorities over 'rude' attitude
The Lahore High Court has expressed its anger on government authorities for discriminating against transgender persons and has instructed the Punjab chief secretary to ensure that the Transgender Persons Act, 2018 is strictly implemented.
In a written order issued on February 6, the court granted permission to Faizullah, a transgender person from Toba Tek Singh, to sit in exams for the post of Urdu lecturer.
Faizullah had filed a petition in the court stating that she has a Masters degree in Urdu language and was pursuing MPhil in the subject. Her application for the post of Urdu lecturer was rejected by the Punjab Public Service Commission on the grounds that the posts have been “earmarked for male or female lecturers and not for transgender persons.
On Saturday, Judge Faisal Zaman Khan passed a detailed judgement on the petition. “Before parting with this judgement, I must register my displeasure and dismay over the treatment with which petitioner has been meted out with,” he wrote.
Justice Khan pointed out that in a “conservative” society like Pakistan, although the rights of transgender people have been highlighted and recognised by the Supreme Court and other important forums, the implementation of these rights remains far fetched.
In this case, the petitioner applied for the post of a lecturer [female] but was shunted out of the process in a “crude, demeaning and rude manner”, he observed.
The said refusal was not only violative of the Constitutional Guarantees ensured to the citizen of this country as enshrined in the Constitution but also violative of Sections 4, 6, 9, 11 and 16 of the Act for which there is no explanation, the judge’s order read.
Justice Khan has instructed the Punjab chief secretary to prepare a comprehensive policy for the implementation of the law for transgender persons across the province.
Earlier on February 3, the judge had ordered the PPSC to accept Faizullah’s request to sit for the exams.
Under it, transgender persons will be able to register to obtain a driver’s licence and passport. They will have the option to get their gender changed in the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) records.
Harassment of transgenders will also be prohibited in and outside their homes. They will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.
The government will establish a safe house for transgenders and provide them with medical and educational facilities, and psychological counselling. Separate rooms will be established at jails where transgenders could be detained. In addition to all basic rights, they will be entitled to inherit property.
The government will take steps to ensure employment opportunities for transgenders and they will have the right to vote in all national, provincial and local government elections and they will not be discriminated against in their pursuit of a public office.
Anyone found guilty of forcing a transgender person to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and fined Rs50,000.