On November 14, MAT directed the state to accept the application form of Arya Pujari, 23, for the post of police constable as a transgender candidate, observing that the “applicant who is transgender should not be deprived of the opportunity to apply in this recruitment process”.
It also directed the state to apply physical standards criteria on the basis of self-identified gender disclosed by the applicant, as provided by the Supreme Court’s National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa) judgment (recognition of transgender as third gender). Further, it asked for including the third option for transgender persons in all job application forms of the home department. Rosy Sequeira reports.
Quash orders that might hinder police hiring: Maharashtra govt
The state urged the Bombay high court to quash and set aside MAT’s orders on recruitment of trans persons in the state police force as “ex-facie bad in law and illegal” and pending hearing, to stay them. It said MAT had failed to consider that the police recruitment process is a “Herculean task” and a very lengthy process. The ongoing recruitment “ought not to be hindered/delayed on any account, considering the urgency for filling vacancies in the police department which has a direct impact on the law and order situation in the state”.
On Monday, its advocate Reena Salunkhe sought hearing of its appeal before Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja, informing that the last date for receiving applications is November 30. The bench posted it on Wednesday.
Opposing the recruitment of trans persons in the police force, the state emphasised: “Various grassroots-level difficulties that need not be spelt out herein ought to have been taken into consideration before coming to any conclusion as to the appointment of transgenders as sought by the petitioner and as intended and directed by the orders.”
In August, resisting the plea of a trans person to apply for the post of sub-inspector, the state had told MAT there will be incidents of sexual abuse both ways – they would be abused and they would abuse the men. MAT chairperson Justice (retd) Mridula Bhatkar had asked it not to resort to stereotypes.
Since there were only male and female options in the forms, Arya Pujari had moved MAT as she could not apply online for recruitment to 145 constable posts in Satara.
The state pointed out that as Pujari has identified herself as transgender and has obtained the appropriate certificate as per the Transgender (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, “it would amount to legal gaffe to compel a transgender person, in this case the respondent, to classify/identify as male/female in the ongoing recruitment process”.