Pak SC directs EC to list transgenders as voters
Last Updated: Monday, December 12, 2011, 23:55
Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday directed the Election Commission to speed up the registration of trans-gender people as voters across the country and to complete the process as soon as possible.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry issued the order while hearing a petition filed by activist Aslam Khaki to protect the rights of eunuchs.

The court said the registration process should be accelerated at the federal, provincial and district levels.

The court sought a comprehensive report regarding the welfare of trans-gender people from the federal and provincial governments within a week.

The Joint Sectary of the Election Commission informed the court that it had registered 104 eunuchs from six districts as voters. He said the Commission has sped up the process for enrolling more eunuchs.

The court further directed the National Database and Registration Authority to speed up the process of issuing National Identity Cards to eunuchs. "The eunuchs are human beings and they must be treated as human beings," the Chief Justice remarked.

During the course of the hearing, the Social Welfare Secretary of Balochistan province submitted a report regarding steps being taken for welfare of trans-gender people.

The Chief Justice expressed serious concern at the report and remarked that a year had passed since the apex court issued an order but the provincial government had not taken steps for the welfare of the third gender.

He warned the Social Welfare Secretary that the court would hold him responsible if effective steps for the welfare of eunuchs were not taken in Balochistan.

The Secretary informed the court that he had written many letters to Chief Secretary and other officials but they were not cooperating with him.

Raffi Khan, a eunuch, informed the court that she had a MA degree in Political Science and had been working as a tax collector in the Cantonment Board of Karachi with 19 other eunuchs for the past two years. She said the eunuchs had recovered unpaid taxes worth Rs 130 million.

She asked the court to direct the government to allocate a quota for eunuchs in every department. The Chief Justice remarked that the federal and provincial governments should create jobs for eunuchs. "Eunuchs are Pakistani citizens and nobody can deprive them from their rights of inheritance.

The Constitution protects and safeguards all fundamental rights of the citizen of the country," he observed. The court has adjourned the case till the first week of January.


First Published: Monday, December 12, 2011, 23:55

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