Karnataka High Court asks State to consider providing 1% quota in jobs for transgender persons in all State owned corporations, statutory bodies

The Karnataka government had earlier informed the High Court that it has made provision for one percent horizontal reservation for transgender persons in government employment.
Karnataka HC and LGBT
Karnataka HC and LGBT

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the State government to consider issuing a direction to all State owned corporations and statutory bodies to provide 1 percent reservation for transgender persons in jobs.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda asked the State to issues similar directions in line with its earlier decision to provide 1 percent reservation for transgender persons in government jobs.

"The State government has taken an innovative step of providing 1% reservation to transgenders in the Karnataka Civil Services General Recruitment (Rules), 1977. The State government shall consider issuing direction through advisory to all state owned corporations and statutory bodies to provide for similar reservation. State shall place on record appropriate action taken within 6 weeks."

The Court was hearing an intervention application (IA) moved by Sangama seeking to provide 1 percent reservation for employment in State owned corporations and statutory bodies.

The IA was moved in a plea seeking horizontal reservation for transgender persons in public employment.

Earlier on July 21, 2020, the Karnataka government had informed the Karnataka High Court that it has made provision for one percent horizontal reservation for transgender persons in government employment, the first State to do so in the India.

"It is submitted that similar horizontal reservation also must be provided for transgender persons in State Boards and State corporations, so that Transgender persons have equal opportunity in public employment as well. Many of such public boards and corporations have their own statutory provisions for recruitement and do not have their own statutory provisions for recruitement and do not necessarily follow the Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitement) Rules. Hence, if a direction is issued similar 1% horizontal reservation in employment in all government boards and coprorations as provided in Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitement) (Amendment) Rules, 2021, it would ensure that even in these public authorities, transgender persons would get access to public employment," the plea said.

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When the matter was taken up for hearing today, the Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, representing the intervenor submitted that there are almost 75-80 different State owned corporations and asked the the government to issue a circular to consider reserving 1% for transgender persons in jobs.

"We can't implead each one of them," she said.

The counsel appearing for the State government submitted that these corporations and boards have their own their rules and regulations and that the State government cannot coerce them to do something.

At this juncture, the Court said,

"You (intervenor) should seek a writ of mandamus against them.....There is no writ against them."

With these observations, the Court disposed of the IA.

The matter will be next heard on September 22.

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