Bill comes after RBI tells banks to make provision for third gender in bank forms and applications
GN Bureau | April 24, 2015
After almost 45 years in legislative history, the Rajya Sabha on Friday passed a bill that seeks equal rights for the transgenders. The last private member bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 1970.
This bill comes a day after Reserve bank of India directed banks to include a separate column 'third gender' in all their forms and applications.
The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014, moved by DMK member Tiruchi Siva, wants the government to take steps to bring the transgender community, facing social stigma and ostracism, into the mainstream. It provides for the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national policy to ensure the overall development and welfare of transgenders.
After the bill comes into force, there is expected to be strong legal provisions to prevent the abuse and violence towards the transgenders. A National Transgender Welfare Commission and a special Transgender Court have also been proposed in the Bill.
A private member's bill is a proposal given by an MP who is not a part of the government and Friday’s are reserved for such legislations.
Meanwhile, on Thursday the RBI had sent a directive to the banks to include a separate column 'third gender' in all their forms and applications. This will help the transgenders to open accounts and avail other banking services.
"It has been brought to our notice that transgender people face difficulties in opening accounts as there is no provision for them in the account opening and other forms", the RBI said.
"Banks are, therefore, directed to include 'third gender' in all forms/applications etc. prescribed by the RBI or the banks themselves, wherein any gender classification is envisaged," it said in a notification.
Last year the supreme court had upheld transgender persons' right to decide their self- identified gender and directed the centre and state governments to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.
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