The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) informed the Delhi High Court on Monday that it has agreed to include transgender as a separate category in the gender classification of prisoners in their annual publication of prison statistics 2020. This comes after a public suit was filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the NCRB to recognize and classify transgenders as a separate third gender in their annual publication of prison statistics.
The public interest litigation, filed by law graduate Karan Tripathi, had sought immediate and urgent intervention of the court as the process of data collection for the next annual publication of the Prison Statistics report 2020 by the NCRB, which is already underway.
The plea said that to date, only two genders appear in the Prison Statistics India report published by the NCRB -- male and female -- to the complete exclusion of the third gender.
“In light of the growing neglect towards the welfare of the transgender community, especially during the COVID-19 and denial of basic necessities to the transgender community in general, it is difficult to imagine the state of transgender prisoners in jails where they are not even recognised as a third gender on paper, let alone in the reality behind the bars,” the plea said.
The plea also urged the High Court to direct the Central government and the NCRB to issue directions to the concerned prison authorities and departments to maintain data on transgender prisoners, inmates in each and every document, or report required to be maintained by the said authorities and departments as per laws applicable.
It also sought directions to NCRB to take appropriate action to ensure proper implementation of the directions/guidelines passed by the Supreme Court of India in the matter titled as “National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India”.