The Right to Privacy: The Promise for full Recognition of Transgender Rights

August 9, 2017

In an article i n Orinam, Jayna Kothari examines the unexpected and far-reaching impact of the Right to Privacy verdict by the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar case, on gender identity, transgender rights and women’s rights. She focuses on the many cases, like MP Sharma v. Satish Chandra and Kharak Singh v. State of UP, whose verdicts have been at least partially overruled by this most recent verdict. The ramifications of this judgement are also expected to be extend to various hostile laws, like Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the Telangana Eunuchs Act, that discriminate against the transgender community. She stresses that while celebrating the victory for individual rights that this verdict represents, we need to understand and acknowledge the intersectionality that exists between the fight for constitutional rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights.

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When petitions against Aadhaar were filed in the Supreme Court 5 years ago, little did any one think that these cases would have such a huge impact on the rights of sexual minorities in India. The judgment has completely altered the landscape for the recognition of the right to sexual orientation and gender identity and I argue in this piece that the broad contours of the rights encompassed within the framework of privacy given by the Supreme Court paves the way for full recognition of the rights specifically of the transgender community.

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