Discrimination is not unknown in India when it comes to inclusion of transgender people in society, especially in terms of employment opportunities. Consistent efforts by activists over the past several years, has resulted in the passing of the landmark order by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in 2014 in case of National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India. The Court emphasised that discrimination and ill-treatment of the transgender community is common in India, particularly in sectors such as education and employment. Consequently, the Court recognised the rights of the third gender to life with dignity, which is enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. In an attempt to provide legislative backing to the recommendations enunciated by the National Legal Services Authority of India , the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 (the Bill) has been drafted, and currently awaits Parliamentary approval to become law.
This article seeks to highlight the key provisions of the Bill and its legal impact with respect to a transgender person’s right to life with dignity including employment opportunities.