Maharashtra Challenges Tribunal Order On ‘Third Gender’ Option In Forms

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The Maharashtra government on Monday moved the Bombay High Court challenging an order passed by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal directing it to create a provision for transgenders in the application form for posts under the home department.
The petition was mentioned before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja seeking urgent hearing to stay the tribunal order.

The bench said it would hear the matter on November 30.

A transgender person, Arya Pujari, who aspired to be a police constable, had approached the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT).

After an advertisement was issued for the recruitment of police constables, Pujari applied online. However, in the application, only two genders were mentioned – male and female – and no third gender was mentioned, because of which Pujari could not fill in the online form.

The MAT on November 14 directed the state government to create a third option for transgenders, after the two options of male and female, in the application form for all recruitments under the home department.

The tribunal had also said the government should fix a criteria for physical standards and tests for transgenders.

The government in its petition claimed it was “extremely difficult” to implement the tribunal’s direction as the state government has not yet framed any policy regarding special provisions for the recruitment of transgenders.

“The timeline for accepting the forms has been already scheduled between 9/11/2022 till 30/11/2022,” it added.

The petition sought the high court to quash the tribunal’s order as it was illegal and bad in law.

It said tribunal failed to consider that the process was a “herculean task and a lengthy process”.

The tribunal had in its order directed the government to make necessary changes in its advertisement and display the same on its website by November 23.

On November 25, the MAT extended till December 8 the time for the acceptance of forms of transgenders after it was informed by Chief Presenting Officer SP Manchekar, representing the state, that the government was still in the process of drafting the policy for the employment given to transgender persons in public posts.

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