Implementation of law to protect transgenders’ rights ordered

Updated November 05, 2019

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The Sindh High Court has expressed displeasure over non-implementation of a law aimed at protecting the rights of transgender persons and directed the ministry of human rights to notify its rules and implement the law within two months. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court has expressed displeasure over non-implementation of a law aimed at protecting the rights of transgender persons and directed the ministry of human rights to notify its rules and implement the law within two months. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has expressed displeasure over non-implementation of a law aimed at protecting the rights of transgender persons and directed the ministry of human rights to notify its rules and implement the law within two months.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that there was no cavil to the proposition that the Transgender Persons (Protection and Rights) Act was promulgated in 2018 and the government was obligated to make all possible arrangements to secure full and effective participation of transgender persons and benefit of all fundamental rights had also been extended to them.

But, no proper rules had been framed as required under Section 20 of the act to implement the law, the bench added.

The bench in its order further stated that the reply filed by an assistant attorney general indicated that the ministry of human rights was working on formulation of rules, guidelines and also constituted a national implementation committee comprising 13 members and they had also developed some guidelines with respect to the treatment of transgender persons in order to secure compliance with the act.

The Sindh govt is directed to notify public transport fare in one month

While disposing of the petition, the bench directed the ministry of human rights to notify the rules and all relevant guidelines within 60 days and implement the law.

Earlier, petitioner Tariq Mansoor argued that the law was passed to provide protection, relief and rehabilitation of the rights of transgender persons and their welfare.

In the last hearing, in order to see whether the law had been implemented in its letter and spirit, the bench had directed the federal law officer to seek proper instruction and submit comments.

Public transport fare

The same bench directed the provincial transport and mass transit department to notify the public transport fare within one month after it was informed that the last notification for determination of the fare was issued around four years ago.

Petitioner Shahnawaz approached the high court arguing that the petition was filed in the larger public interest since the transport owners were charging fares of their own will in the absence of any official notification.

Impleading the Sindh transport and mass transit department and other provincial authorities as respondents, the petitioner contended that the last notification for determination of public transport fare was issued in 2015 and since then no notification had been issued.

He sought directives for the respondents to issue a fresh notification to safeguard the interest of the general public so that public transporters may not fix and charge fares by their own, but they should follow the fares notified by the transport department.

A focal person on behalf of the transport department appeared before the bench and submitted that in order to finalise the fare, three meetings had been convened with the association of bus owners and other stakeholders.

He maintained that a new notification would be issued within a month and be followed and implemented by the all transporters in the province.

The two-judge bench observed that the statement of the focal person was taken on record with further direction to the respondents to ensure that within a period of one month a proper notification would be issued and made available to the public for general awareness.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2019