Govt put on notice for denying transgender column in census form, CNICs


PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday issued notice to the government for not including transgender column in the census form and denying issuance of the computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to both male and female transvestites.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan issued the notice to both the federal and provincial governments and National Database Registration Authority officials. They were directed to submit reply before October 20.
The court issued the notice in a writ petition filed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa transgender community. The petition termed it violation of the Supreme Court decision and denial of their fundamental rights safeguarded by Constitution.
Farzana, president of TransAction Alliance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, vice-president Paro and nine others had filed the writ petition through their lawyers Hashim Raza and Gul Rehman Mohmand. Secretary Establishment, secretary Interior, director general of Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan, provincial director of Bureau of Statistics, chairman and director general of Nadra KP, Chief Election Commissioner, director general of Ministry of Human Rights, Federal Regional Director Human Rights, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through chief secretary and secretary Social Welfare Department were made parties to the petition.
The transgender community prayed the high court to direct the respondents to amend the census form by adding a new column for the transgender community. The petitioners prayed the court to issue CNICs to the transgender community, their status as male/female transgender or intersex (in between them).
The high court was requested to direct the respondents to reserve quota in services as per policy of the KP government for the entire Pakistan.
It was prayed the census form had no column for transgender community and if census was carried out without amending the form, the transgender will be deprived of their fundamental right and this would be against the Supreme Court decision. They called for suspension of the census till the amendment made to the census form and adding a new column to it.
In grounds to the petition, it was stated that the petitioners are citizen of Pakistan and inhabitants of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and were thus entitled to all fundamental rights safeguarded under the constitution of Pakistan.
The transgender community claimed in the petition that after attaining the age of 18 years they are not issued CNICs by Nadra as their parents are unwilling to give them their recognition. Due to non-availability of their family tree, they are not issued CNICs by the Nadra, which is a question mark on the rights as safeguarded under the constitution.