Kerala High Court Rules That Transgender Person Can Join National Cadet Corps

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Transgender Person to join NCC: The Kerala High Court on March 15 ruled that a transgender person is entitled to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in accordance with gender identity.

A petition was moved by transgender woman Hina Haneefa, challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 that allowed only ‘males’ or ‘females’ to enrol as cadets. Haneefa had applied for entry on the basis of her gender identity, the female category since the NCC did not provide for the third gender.

The provisions of the NCC Act ruled out the provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. The situation has to consider the 2019 Act which recognises the right of transgender persons to a life with dignity and prohibits discrimination against them.

Justice Anu Sivaraman who pronounced the order stated that “Transgender person has a right to be recognised not only as a transgender but also a right to self-perceived self-identity.”

It was stated that the NCC cannot justify denying admission to the petitioner to the unit on the basis of the identity card obtained by her. Justice Sivaraman stated that “Petitioner is entitled to enrolment in the NCC Senior Girls Division and rejection of the request of the petitioner for such enrolment is completely unsustainable.”

The Court directed that the petitioner Haneefa be allowed to participate in the selection process on the basis of the application that was already submitted. The Court also directed that the enrolment criteria under Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act be amended to allow for the entry of transgender persons within six months.