State's transgender policy favours repealing Section 377

Policy also talks about making sexual assault gender neutral

State's transgender policy favours repealing Section 377

The Karnataka State Policy for Transgender-2017, which got the approval of the State Cabinet on Wednesday, envisages that all educational institutions have separate toilets for transgenders besides doing away with Section 377 of the IPC.    

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said a five-year time line has been set to implement the provisions of the policy, which seeks to end discrimination faced by sexual minorities.

The policy recommends that all levels of formal education system should have reservations for transgender students and a column in application forms for transgender identity.

Jayachandra said that the Cabinet discussed whether transgenders should be allowed to use both “men” and “women” toilets but several ministers felt separate toilets would be more suitable.

Interestingly, under the head ‘law and legal support,’ the policy talks about building up public support to strike down Section 377 (which criminalises unnatural sexual activities). It also talks about making sexual assault gender neutral.

The policy, which has been prepared following directions of the Supreme Court, also cover areas such as education, employment, housing, protection from harassment and abuse. The policy will be applicable to all categories of transgenders - Jogappa, Hijra, female-to-male, male-to-female, Kothi, Jogta, Shivshakti and Aravani, Jayachandra said.

The policy states that there should be a timely process to change the name and gender of sexual minorities in educational institutions. Other recommendations include reservation of jobs both in the government and private sector and specific health scheme for transgenders.

Release of prisoners

The state Cabinet also decided to recommend to Governor Vajubai Vala premature release of 93 life sentenced prisoners in various central prisons of the state on grounds of good behaviour. These include 86 men and seven women inmates in the prisons of Mysuru, Belagavi, Kalburagi, Vijayapura, Ballari and Dharwad.

The Cabinet gave its approval for modifying seven warehouses into cold storages under public private partnership mode.

Other Cabinet decisions

Administrative approval for providing underground drainage facilities to 110 villages in BBMP area at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

All approach roads to airports in tier-2 cities to be developed under TenderSure. 2.2 kms approach road to Hubballi to be developed at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

Approval of Rs 175 crore for next year’s Mahamastakabisheka. CM Siddaramaiah to hold meeting in Shravanabelagola on November 4.

Approval for Rs 27.5 crore for construction of residential complex for Group-A officers at Jeevanbhimanagara, Bengaluru.

Approval for Rs 398.3 crore for water supply and UGD scheme in various ULBs.

Construction of hostel buildings at Kalaburgi district through Karnataka Residential Education Institutions Society at a cost at Rs 64.53 crore.

Approval for Rs 809.58 crore for modernisation of Hemavathi left bank canal

Approval for Rs 248.2 crore for filling 64 tanks under in Kittur and Bailahongala.

New Sonti lift irrigation scheme of Rs 440 crore for filing 35 minor irrigation tanks on the left flank of the Bhima river in Yadgir taluk.



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