Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
Litigation News

PIL in Kerala HC raises concern that transgender community is being excluded from access to rations amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Meera Emmanuel

The Kerala High Court today took up a PIL moved for the welfare of the transgender community amid the COVID-19 lockdown, which has raised concern that transgender persons are being excluded in the provision of rations during the lockdown.

Responding to queries whether the petition involves any specific grievance by an affected person, Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari informed the Court while the petitioner is one such transgender person, there are problems being faced by the transgender community as a whole.

In particular, the Court was told that transgender persons were not being given rations from Public Distribution Shops (PDS) as they do not have a ration card, although they may have a transgender identity card issued by the State Government.

"It is not just one petitioner, it is, in fact, the entire transgender community", Kothari asserted, given that many transgender persons do not have ration cards since they were thrown out of their home.

Representing the State Government, the Additional Advocate General, Ranjith Thampan told the High Court that the administration would resolve the issues raised if approached and urged that the petitioners approach the local administration in this regard.

Kothari submitted that the petitioners would take recourse to this option. However, she urged the Court to direct that, in the meanwhile, transgender persons be provided rations by PDS without insisting on a ration card.

Taking note of these submissions, the Bench of Justices Anu Sivaraman and MR Anitha has now adjourned the matter to be taken up next week, after the third phase of the COVID-19 lockdown is to come to an end.

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