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The Delhi Police has affirmed before the Delhi High Court that if cognizable offences under Section 354-A of the Indian Penal Code are made out on sexual harassment complaints made by transgenders, the same shall be registered and proceeded with in accordance with law.
Before a Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, the Delhi Police has asserted that the decision follows the Supreme Court’s verdict in National Legal Services Authority v. UOI, which extended to transgenders the same Constitutional and legal rights as available to any other citizen.
The declaration has been made by the Delhi Police in a writ petition preferred by a transgender person challenging the constitutional validity of clauses (i), (ii) and (iv) of sub-section (1) of Section 354A of IPC, to the extent that they are interpreted to exclude victims of sexual harassment who are transgender persons. The section, the petitioner had claimed, was ultra vires Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioner had moved the High Court after the Delhi Police refused to proceed with a criminal complaint made under Section 354A IPC, doubting if the Section was applicable to transgenders.
During the course of the proceedings, the Court had also allowed petitioner’s request to maintain anonymity, and directed that the cause title would read as “Anamika versus Union of India & Ors.”
The Delhi Police also informed the Court that an FIR pursuant to the petitioner’s complaint has been registered at the Rajouri Garden Police Station, and investigation is underway.
In view of the assertions made by Delhi Police, the petitioner did not pursue the proceedings any further and the writ petitioner was disposed of by the Court.
The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Anand Grover with Advocates Saurabh Chauhan, Tripti Tandon, Varun Jain and Aarushi Mahajan.
Delhi Police was represented by Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra with Advocate Chaitanya Gosain.
Read the order: