transgender_symbolA two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, after hearing the petition filed by the National Legal Services Authority, passed a historic judgement on Transgender Rights on April 15, 2014.

“Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue,” Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan told the Supreme Court while handing down the ruling.

It was fitting that Supreme Court verdict of India chose April 15 specifically to rule favourably in the National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 400 of 2012]. It was on April 15, 2008, that the Aravani (Transgender) Welfare Board was constituted by the Tamil Nadu state government, as the first of its kind in the country. Trans* and queer communities in the state celebrate April 15 as Transgender Day. Many welfare measures enacted by the TN Transgender Welfare Board have been taken up as country-wide recommendations by the Report of the Expert Committee of the national Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. Per Justice Sikri, these recommendations are to be implemented in six months (i.e. by  October 15, 2014) after re-examining them in light of the legal declaration made in the judgement.


The judgement and summaries

  • The full text of the judgement [download]
  • Statement from Lawyers Collective [download]
  • The operative part of the judgement
    Download : [English, Tamil]
  • A summary, by Danish Sheikh
    Download : [English, Tamil]
  • A critique by NUJS, West Bengal [download]

Lok Sabha Transgender Rights bill (2016) bill

MSJE Transgender Rights bill (2015) bill

Private member (Tiruchi Siva) bill (2014) passed in Rajya Sabha

Government seeks clarification from Supreme Court: Sept 11, 2014

Analyses of the judgement, and other post-NALSA developments

Background material


Coverage in print media


Coverage in visual media


And .. cake !

Cake from celebrations at the office of Sahodaran in Chennai