Libertatem Magazine

Property Rights of Transgender Community in India

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The transgender community in India faces many problems which include marriage problems, adoption, property, etc. After the judgment of the case, National legal service authority vs Union of India and The Transgender persons (protection of rights) act 2019, this act only talks about the Right of Residence but does not talk about the inheritance right of the community. Who is considered transgender? Transgender people are those individuals of any age or sex whose appearance, characteristics, or behavior are different from the stereotypes that have been set by the society of how an individual is ‘supposed to be. Transgender people are present in every class, race, religion, or culture. In simple terms trans people are anyone whose identity or behavior is different from the stereotypical norms of gender. In the judgment of landmark case, NALSA vs Union of India the Supreme Court created a ‘Third Gender’ for the transgender or hijras, before the judgment they were forced to write male or female. The Supreme Court directed the Centre to treat trans people as socially and economically backward.

Apart from getting the third gender status, they face a lot of difficulties in their day-to-day affairs. They still face discrimination in various fields like education, politics, jobs, property rights, etc. Due to these types of discrimination, they are deprived of education and good medical health. They suffer from medical conditions like HIV, depression, and many other health problems. Though getting a third gender status, trans people are getting cast out by society. These communities have observed that they are excluded from effectively participating in social and cultural practices, politics, and decision-making processes. The reason for these observations by trans people is that they are not included in mainstream society and there is a lack of recognition of their third gender status. It is a crucial obstacle that often prevents them from exercising basic rights. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019. The rights of trans people are well defined in this act, which the right of residence is mentioned in sec 12 of, which clearly states that every transgender person shall have the right to reside and be included in their household without any discrimination. If the immediate family is unable to care for the transgender person, the competent court will order him to be placed in a rehabilitation center. This section gives trans people a secure shelter. But the act does talk about the inheritance rights of trans people. In a joint Hindu family, trans people are not regarded as coparceners or legal heirs of their father. They are given the right to live with a family but are not considered in the inheritance process. The act needs a lot of corrections and amendments as transgender people are citizens of India and should be recognized by each and every law as it is their legal and human right as a third gender.

Discrimination still prevails even after trans people are recognized as the third gender because society is not ready to accept them as dignified human beings. The Constitution of India also guarantees the right to equality. Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. In the case of NAZ Foundation vs NCT of Delhi, it was pointed out that sexual orientation comes under the word ‘sex’ in article 15 of the Constitution, so people can be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. The Hindu succession act does not have a mention the third gender. It clearly gives the definition of who is a Hindu and who comprises a Hindu. The act laid down a broad and uniform system of inheritance but was only confined to males and females, without any reference to the third gender. The act does not mention transgenders or their right to inherit ancestral property. The act only lays down the rights of a male and a female to inherit property. Each and every act and law should be amended in accordance with the third gender. They should get equal rights and opportunities in every field, be it education, corporate jobs, politics, marriage, adoption, inheritance, etc.

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