Beyond the Binary: Navigating Transgender Rights in the Face of Sexual Harassment

Beyond the Binary: Navigating Transgender Rights in the Face of Sexual Harassment


In the contemporary world, the conception of gender  equivalency has come under the light. India is also striving to secure its place in this sphere and a prominent aspect of gender  impartiality is the inclusion of transgender.

Even after the infamous NALSA judgement, India is lagging behind in furnishing the trans community an equal status in society. They were given the status of a” third gender” and attained constitutional equality. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, in the aforementioned case, called the issue of transgender recognition a human rights issue. Nevertheless, they’re subordinated to unacceptance from the society and the council, in terms of absence of suitable laws for them.

Status of Transgender Rights in ndian Criminal Justice System

The Indian felonious justice system is not inclusive of the violation of trans gender’s rights in a clear manner. The laws do not  give enough protection to them as opposed to the sheer violence and ill- treatment they’re victims of.  The Indian Penal Code embedded in old-age patriarchy, holds all sexual offences, except Section 377 as gender-specific whereby women are the victims and men, perpetrators.

Any sexual offence committed against the third gender comes under dimension of section 377 but that does not suffices the  inflexibility of crimes like “rape” which are not covered under the provision. This provision merges a joker on manly or womanish on womanish rape to freely sexual exertion between two subscribing homosexuals, thereby indicating the regressive nature of this law.

Social Injustice towards Trans Community

The fact that’s further disappointing than their fundamental rights being violated under Articles 14, 15 and 21 is that they aren’t just harassed by the general public but also by the defenders of public i.e. the police forces.

They are subjected to custodial violence, dereliction of duty by state and overall apathy to their issues such as educational, residential, medical and employment. They’re denied services and experience high rates of unemployment, housing insecurity and marginalisation.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties — Karnataka  passed a study of cases of  mortal rights violation against ambisexual persons, specifically as coitus workers and made some drastic observations in the way police treat transgender publically, in their homes and in police stations and prisons.

“If one is to understand the nature of the violence against kothis and hijras, what emerges clearly is the all-encompassing nature of the violence, its roots in both state and civil society, the nature of surveillance by the state, and the deeply sexual nature of the violence. Sexual violence is a constant, pervasive theme in all the narratives collected in our report. With or without the element of physical violence, such actions constitute a violation of the integrity and privacy of the very sexual being of the person.”

Reforms for Third Gender

As a major change for trans community, section 377 was decriminalised under Navtej Singh Johar v UOI, declaring it unconstitutional. Also, the Transgender Persons( Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed that specified the following offences against transgender (i) begging, forced or bonded labour, (ii) denial of use of public places, (iii) denial of residence in household, and village, (iv) physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse. It also mandates the creation of a National Council for Transgender Persons.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 under the above act was created that prohibited any kind of discrimination against trans group in areas, specifically but not limited to education, employment, healthcare, holding or disposing of property, holding public or private office and access to and use of public services and benefits.


Despite being in its immaturity stage, third genders are being recognised and being included under the legal dimension as well. Small but sweats still are being made in this direction and it’s been recognised that women, men and the trans community can be both victims and perpetrators of the crime.

Author:- Shivangi Agarwal, a Student of
Galgotias University

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