- Apprentice Lawyer
The Karnataka High Court on Monday orally asked the State government to examine how Transgender persons can be given horizontal reservation in public employment.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice SS Magadum asked,
"Can we direct the State to provide reservation to Transgenders under socially backward classes enumerated in Article 338B?"
The Court was hearing a plea challenging a State government notification pertaining to police constable recruitment on the grounds that it excluded a separate category for Transgender persons on par with 'men' and 'women' [Sangama V State of Karnataka].
The Bench went on to direct petitioner Advocate Tarjani Desai to implead the Centre as well as the National Commission for Backward Classes as respondents in the matter.
"Considering the law laid down by the Apex Court in the case of NALSA vs Union of India, it is necessary to give relief to transgenders in the matter of employment and therefore, it is necessary to implead the Government of India and National Commission for Backward Classes under Article 338B as respondents 4 and 5", states the order passed by the Bench.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, the Bench asked whether reservation for transgenders under the OBC category could exceed 50%. The Bench also asked the State how reservation should be given to Transgenders.
Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari submitted,
"Can transgenders be given reservation under the OBC category? That is what we are challenging here."
Kothari further made submissions on the constitutional framework under Article 338B of the Constitution, which was enacted via the 102nd Amendment in 2018.
The matter will be next heard on February 4.
In November 2020, the Karnataka High Court had sought the response of the State government in an intervention application moved by a trust called Jeeva seeking horizontal reservation for Transgender persons in public employment.