Kerala High Court allows admission of transgender person in NCC on the basis of self-perceived gender identity

The Kerala High Court recently ruled that a Transgender person is entitled to be admitted to National Cadet Corps (NCC) in accordance with her self-perceived gender identity.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Anu Sivaraman in a petition presented by a transwoman, Hina Haneefa challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 that effectively allowed only ‘males’ or ‘females’ to enrol as cadets with NCC.

Haneefa had applied for entry on the basis of her self-perceived gender, i.e to female category, for the reason that the NCC failed to have a provision for the third gender.

It was additionally held that the provisions of the NCC Act cannot prevent the operations of the provisions of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 Act and the situation has to be viewed in the light of 2019 Act which recognises the right of transgender persons to a life with dignity and prohibits discrimination against them.

The Court added that the mere fact that the provisions of the NCC Act does not recognise the third gender or that the detailed guidelines are needed for the integration of the persons of the third gender into the Armed Forces or the NCC cannot be a justification for denying admission to the petitioner to the NCC unit on the basis of the identity card obtained by her.

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