In a historic ruling, the Kerala High Court on Monday has allowed a transgender person to enroll into the National Cadet Corps(NCC), the youth wing of Indian armed forces. The court said that the fact that NCC does not recognise the third gender cannot be used by them to not allow a transperson admission in the corps. The High court was passing a judgement against a petition filed by one Hina Haneefa who had challenged the NCC act that only allowed males and females to enroll.
The single bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman observed that the Transgender Persons Act of 2019 recognises a trans person’s right to self-perceived gender identity. “In view of the specific provisions of the 2019 act, a transgender person has the right to be recognised not only as a transgender but also a right to self-perceived gender, i.e. the female gender,” Sivaraman was quoted by LiveLaw, media reports said.
The court also directed the central government to amend section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 that only allows males and ‘females’ to enroll as cadets with the armed forces wing.
“The denial of enrolment is unsustainable. The petitioner will be entitled to participate in the selection process on the basis of her application. If she is successful, the petitioner will be enrolled in NCC Unit,” Sivaraman said.
Back in December last year, during one of the hearing of the same petition, the NCC had informed the Kerala High Court that a transgender person cannot be allowed into the youth wing due to lack of any provision of the same and had cited the existing policy. It had informed that it was in the central government’s powers to form a new division for transpersons in the corps.