KARNATAKA : THE FIRST IN INDIA TO HAVE RESERVATION FOR TRANSGENDER PERSONS
According to Section 2 Clause (k) of the Transgender Persons ( Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (Central act 40 of 2019), a transgender person means a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man and trans-women ( whether or not such person has undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or such other therapy ), person with intersex variations, gender queer and person having such socio-cultural identities as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta.
Recently, the state government of Karnataka has reserved 1 % of posts horizontally for transgender persons in public employment. The state has become first in India to reserve jobs in public employment for transgender persons. The state government amended the Karnataka civil services (general requirement) rules, 1977 to provide the reservation. The draft notification was issued on 13 may which proposed to amend rule 9 for the said purpose. An amendment to rule 9 (1)(d) was inserted to provide the transgender persons the reservation in each category of general, schedule caste, scheduled tribes and in each categories of other backward classes. The state government’s amendment of its recruitment rules sought to reserve 2,672 posts for transgender persons.
The new sub rule read as, “ notwithstanding anything contained in the rules of recruitment specially made in respect of any service or post, in all direct recruitment one percentage of vacancies set apart for that method in each of the categories of general merit, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and in the categories of other backward classes shall, subject to any general instruction that may be issued by the government regarding the appointment, be filled from among transgender candidates: Provided that, every Appointing Authority (Recruiting Authority) shall provide a separate column of “others” along with male gender and female gender in the application for recruitment to any category of group-A, B, C or D posts for the convenience of transgender persons. The Appointing Authority (Recruitment Authority) shall not discriminate a transgender person while making selection of appointment to any category of post.
Provided further that, if sufficient number of eligible transgender persons are not available, to the extent of one percent, the unfilled vacancies shall be filled by male or female candidates, as the case may be, belonging to the same category. ”
This judgement was a result of a legal challenge to it recruitment of police constables on the ground that it exclude a separate category for transgender persons on par with men and women. It all started when an interlocutory application was filed challenging the exclusion in Sangama v. State of Karnataka. This paved the way to the state government to frame scheme for reservation for the transgender community in the recruitment to the post of special reserve constable force as well as bandsmen. Initially, the Kolkata government proposed to consider reservation for transgender persons under one of the OBC categories, after obtaining the opinion of the state commission for backward classes. But if the reservation of transgender persons would have been under OBC category, it would not allow similar persons among SC and ST communities to seek the benefit of reservation. In addition, it would not be possible to avail any additional benefit of reservation on the ground of gender.