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Hyderabad High Court suspends use of eunuchs law

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday afforded some relief to transgenders when it directed the Telangana state government not to register cases against them and not to make any arrests or investigate cases under the Telangana Eunuchs Act 1329 till further orders.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice V. Ramasubramanian, while dealing with a petition by V. Vasanta Mogli and two other transgenders seeking to declare the Telangana Eunuchs Act 1329 as wholly unconstitutional and invalid, felt that there were certain atrocious provisions under the Act.

Questioning the Telangana police why they are branding the transgenders under the Act, the bench said that goods can be branded not human beings and what is the hitch in deleting the word eunuch by the government from the Act.  The bench also questioned the police why they are invoking the Act against transgenders when there are other stringent Acts in force to deal with persons committing the crimes.

Recalling the recent Supreme Court order on Section 377 which included transgenders, the bench felt that Section 4 and 5 of the Act hurt the self respect of transgenders. Sai Sandeep Parikshit, counsel for the petitioner said that the use of the word “eunuch” itself stigmatised the community. He said Section 5 of the Act provides for punishment of a eunuch with imprisonment if it is found that he “has with him or in his house under his control” a boy who is less than 16 years old.

Sharath Kumar, counsel for the Telangana government submitted that after formation of Telangana State, they had adapted the Nizam era law. He urged the court to grant time to submit details of the case registered under the Act to the government. While granting four weeks time, the bench directed the police not to register any cases against transgenders under the Act.
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