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SC directs gender-based registration of eunuchs

By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the government to register eunuchs after determining their gender by medical check-up besides giving them the right to vote and inheritance.

A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ch Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, is hearing a petition filed by Insaaf Welfare Trust chairman and an Islamic jurist Dr Muhammad Aslam Khaki.

Dr Khaki had moved the apex court against violations of human rights of eunuchs by stating that they were treated neither as males nor females and they enjoyed no rights like other citizens.

He has asked the court to provide justice to them and give them a respectable status in the society. He had filed the petition after police raided and arrested several eunuch-transvestites in Taxila recently.

On Friday the court directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to include the names of eunuchs in the voters’ lists after determination of their sex, so that they may be able to exercise their right of franchise.

The court asked the government to take steps for removal of gender disorder, paving the way for them to apply for passport facility and job quota. The court asked the government to provide incentives to transgender individuals such as education, free treatment facilities, respectable jobs for their social development and right of inheritance.

Acting Attorney General Shah Khawar informed the court that a ‘commission’ was being set up to deal with the issues confronting the eunuchs. He further submitted that seminars would also be arranged to create awareness among the eunuchs and sought one-month time for completing the process, which the court allowed and adjourned further proceedings for a month.

The court observed that steps should also be taken to discourage professional eunuchs and police should not harass the eunuchs. Almas alias Boby, a representative of the transvestites, told the court that due to discrimination, they were deprived of hereditary rights.
Source: The News

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