Toilets intended for PWD can be used by transgenders: Delhi govt to HC

- August 3, 2022
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The city government has informed the Delhi High Court that 505 toilets intended for persons with disabilities (PwD) have been designated for the use of transgenders and separate washrooms for the third gender persons will be built very soon

Photo: Pixabay

Nine new toilets have already been made for the use of transgenders and the construction of 56 more washrooms for them is in progress, the court was informed by the state government.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Subramonium Prasad has allotted six weeks time to the Delhi Government to file a status report informing the court about the new toilets established for the use of transgenders/ third gender persons.

It listed the matter for further hearing on 14 November.

The court was hearing a PIL by a law student Jasmine Kaur Chhabra at that time, requesting direction to construct separate washrooms for the third gender on the ground that a lack of separate public toilets for transgenders makes them vulnerable to sexual assault and harassment.

The petition has said that the absence of gender-neutral toilets goes against the directions of the Supreme Court and in spite of funds from the Centre, no separate toilets are being made for the transgender or third gender community in Delhi.

The high court had earlier furnished notice to the Centre, Delhi Government and municipal authorities on the petition.

The Delhi Government, in its latest status report, said that as per the Action Taken Report submitted by different departments a total of 505 toilets meant for persons with disabilities have been designated to be used by transgender persons.

The state government said in the report that earnest measures are being taken to ensure that task of building separate toilets for transgender persons is done on a fast track basis.

The high court had earlier told the Delhi Government that wherever new public spaces were being developed, separate toilets for transgenders is a must and directed it to look into this matter without further delay.

The Delhi Government counsel had asked for some time to build the infrastructure and in the meanwhile, transgenders may use the toilets built for physically disabled persons.

The counsel for the petitioner had said that the current issue has been pending for a long time, and the government has set a timeline of two years for constructing the toilets.

The petition has further stated that Mysore, Bhopal and Ludhiana have already started taking action and have built separate public washrooms for transgenders but Delhi is still seen nowhere taking such an initiative.

There are no separate toilet facilities for transgenders, they have to use male toilets where they are prone to sexual assault and harassment. Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity, therefore, impairs equality before the law and equal protection of the law and violates Article 14 of the Constitution, the petition, filed through advocate Rupinder Pal Singh, has said.

People, including men, women and transgenders, feel uncomfortable and hesitate when the third gender uses washrooms which are made for others, the plea submitted, adding this also violates the ‘right to privacy of the third gender.

(With inputs from PTI)


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