Happenings, Dec '16
The West Bengal Administrative Tribunal directs WBPSC to include 'transgender' in its forms.
Kolkata, December 5, 2016: Transgender rights received a strong morale booster in West Bengal today! Atri Kar, a primary school teacher who self identifies as a transgender person, could not fill up the online examination form for the West Bengal Civil Service (Exe) Etc. Examination, 2017 since the only gender categories mentioned were male and female.
She approached the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal through Human Rights Law Network, Kolkata, represented by advocate Aindreela Chakraborty. Advocate Kaushik Gupta joined her in arguing before the Honourable Bench that in view of the Honourable Supreme Court of India’s judgment on transgender identities and rights (NALSA verdict of April 2014), the petitioner was entitled to fill up the form in terms of paragraph 129(2) of the said judgment.
The Honourable Bench consisting of Justice Amit Talukdar and Samar Ghosh directed the West Bengal Public Service Commission (WBPSC) to allow the petitioner to fill up the examination form offline by incorporating the desired gender category of the petitioner. WBPSC was further directed to rectify the gender category option in the online form.
This key development brought to closure months of struggle on the part of Atri Kar and her supporters. It has the potential to speed up the tardy pace at which the Supreme Court’s NALSA verdict has been implemented this far in West Bengal.
This story is based on information received from Atri Kar and other sources of Varta. A more detailed report on Atri Kar’s story will be published later this month in Varta.
About the main photo: A poster prepared at a slogan and poster development workshop organized by Kolkata Rainbow Pride Festival ahead of the ‘15th Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk’ on December 11, 2016. Poster credit: Sandeepta Das. Photo credit: Prosenjit Pal.
Bengali translation: Click here.