The way back assurance of Supreme Court that transgenders be treated as “third gender” to no avail as they continue to face destitution in periodical event which led a transgender social activist to move to Supreme Court requesting directions to the Center to create a separate “third gender” category on PAN cards and application forms for PAN to enable transgender persons to get accurate identity proofs.
Reshma has challenged the September, 2017 judgment of the High Court of Patna dismissing her petition of self-identity as the Third Gender in PAN cards for the reason of linking of Aadhar with the PAN, and to sustain associated interest.
Creation of a Digital Signature Certificate on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for which identity proofs such as Aadhaar Card and PAN are needed failing to which Reshma couldn’t register her company as the self-identity in her PAN has listed her as male issued to her in 2014 and since the NALSA v. UoI, Aadhar included the third gender in its roll and she was listed as transgender in its database.
This solution was not covered by the PAN cards. Thus, when the government issued the notification making Aadhaar-PAN linkage mandatory, Reshma and several other transgender persons across the country – could not get this done as their gender on the two cards do not match. As a result of this, Reshma is not able to file income tax returns as a transgender person as a gazette notification from the Ministry of Finance last year asks people to provide their Aadhaar numbers while fixing tax returns.
She being a law-abiding citizen made numerous attempts to get her Aadhar number linked with the PAN but each of her attempts in vain. Reshma’s counsel Nabila Hasan also contended in the SLP that restricting registration to males and females is arbitrary and inconsistent with the decision passed by the Supreme Court in NALSA v. UoI and with other provisions of the Constitution as it prevents a transgenders from receiving PAN cards. She also said that no steps were taken for the letter of the Gujarat government to New Delhi office asking to include the third category in the application form for obtaining PAN card.
The matter listed the before Supreme Court on Wednesday, the court has asked the counsel to serve a copy of the petition to Attorney General of India and has registered the matter after eight weeks.
Report by: Vedant Agrawal, Student Reporter, INBA