The High Court on Wednesday directed the government to inform the court about the timeline within which the census of transgenders in J&K would be started and completed.
Pointing out that no welfare measures about the transgenders in the state can be taken without knowing their number, a division bench of Chief justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe directed the government to carry out the census.
"The census must include the geographic distribution of the transgender population so as to effectively address any marginalisation which may be resulting in their exclusion from the social mainstream on account of failure of judgment of the SC as well as the concomitance of the right of life of the citizens of the state," the court said.
The directions came after Aijaz Ahmed Bund on behalf of transgenders informed the court that no census of the third gender was conducted in the state since 2011. "As per 2011 census, more than 4000 transgenders live in Kashmir face marginalization and are disowned by their families," he told the court.
In response to the submission by Bund that the transgenders are facing difficulties as there is no option available on forms as third gender, the court said: "Transgenders are as much humans as the other two genders and have every right to life."
Senior additional advocate general B A Dar sought time so that steps could be taken to ensure the right to life of the transgenders as well as implementation of the directions issued by the SC in 2014 in the case of National Legal Service Authority v Union of India & ors.
The Court directed the concerned authorities to produce the forms containing the columns for the third gender before it so far as entitlement of food, education, medical facilities and shelter are concerned.
"The petitioners shall also produce the steps taken to ensure the right to identity of the transgenders," it said.
In 2015, the transgenders approached the court through Aijaz Ahmad Bund, Shafi Khan and Farah Ashraf, pleading that in keeping with the Supreme Court, the state government was obliged to fulfill the necessities of transgenders.