LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday expressed its displeasure at the Punjab police department for not submitting record of the jobs given to the members of transgender community.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Shujaat Ali Khan took notice of non-compliance of the court’s previous direction by the department and summoned the inspector general of police (IGP).

However, DIG legal Naeem Ahmad Sheikh appeared before the court and sought time to look into the matter.

Being irked by the statement of the officer, the judge asked him whether he came to assist the court or for a walk in the Bagh-i-Jinnah.

The DIG said the department had already filed its reply.

The judge, however, found the reply unsatisfactory and also sought replies form the chief secretary and the social welfare department in the matter, adjourning the hearing for a week.

Muhammad Nawaz alias Ashi Jan, a transperson, had filed the petition seeking implementation of the constitutional provisions in this regard and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018.

The petitioner, through her counsel, submitted that the authorities had been violating the provisions of the relevant laws by not recruiting members of the transgender community in police.

He said the IGP, in response to a letter the petitioner wrote to him, admitted that no transperson had been appointed in the region.

He said the act of the respondent was against the Constitution and in violation of section 4 & 9 of the Act.

The counsel asked the court to order the chief secretary and social welfare department to ensure the implementation on the Act as even after three years of the legislation, transpersons did not get their right of employment.

He also asked the court to seek an explanation from the IGP’s office as to why no transperson was recruited by the department during the last 10 years.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2022

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