Delhi Govt Steps Up: Toilets for Transgender Community, PIL Closed

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The Delhi Government has informed the Delhi High Court, stating that they have built 143 separate public toilets specifically for transgender individuals in the national capital. Additionally, they’ve mentioned that construction is underway for an additional 223 such toilets, while plans for 30 more are yet to commence.

Facts of the Case

A plea titled,  “Jasmine Kaur Chhabra v. UOI & Ors”, was filed before the honourable Delhi High Court, which through their appeal argued that every individual, regardless of gender, is entitled to fundamental human rights, which include access to separate public toilets. It contended that the absence of such facilities for transgender or third-gender individuals constitutes a violation of their rights as guaranteed by Articles 14 and 21. Chhabra argued that the absence of dedicated toilets for transgender individuals exposes them to a higher risk of “sexual assault and harassment.”

Court’s Ruling

In March of the previous year, the court issued a directive to the Delhi government, instructing them to build toilets specifically designated for the transgender community within the national capital within an eight-week timeframe. The Delhi Government assured the court that it is exerting all efforts to ensure the prompt establishment of separate toilets for transgender individuals and that this endeavor will be expedited on a fast-track basis.

The Delhi Government has provided an update to the Delhi High Court, stating that they have constructed 143 separate public toilets in the national capital for transgender individuals. They also informed the court that construction is underway for an additional 223 such toilets, while plans for 30 more toilets are yet to commence. Additionally, the government mentioned that 1584 toilets originally designated for persons with disabilities are now allocated for use by transgender individuals.

This information was disclosed in the status report filed by the Delhi Government on January 19, as part of a public interest litigation initiated by Jasmine Kaur Chhabra, advocating for the construction of separate toilets for transgender persons. During the hearing, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora reviewed the matter and closed the PIL based on the affidavit and action taken reports submitted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). Advocate Rupinder Pal Singh, representing Chhabra, expressed no objection to closing the PIL but requested that the Delhi Government be bound by the statements and undertakings provided in the status report and action taken reports.

In response to this request, the court ordered: “Making the respondent bound by the statement and undertaking given in the status report and action taken reports, the present writ petition is closed.”

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon