Kerala High Court permits enrollment of Transgender people in NCC

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019


The Kerala High Court delivered a ground-breaking judgment allowing the admission of transgender people in National Cadet Corps in accordance with their self-perceived gender identity.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Anu Sivaraman in the case of Hina Haneefa v State of Kerala. The petitioner challenged Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 which allowed only ‘males’ or ‘females’ to enroll after she was excluded from the women wing.

She had joined NCC when she was 13 years old as a ‘boy’, her birth gender, but applied for enrollment under ‘female category’ as she had undergone transformational surgeries and NCC did not provide for third gender.

The Court held that lack of provisions under NCC Act and the need of detailed guidelines to be drawn for recognising third gender admission into Armed Forces or NCC cannot be a justification for refusing the petitioner’s admission on the basis of her perceived gender.

“I am of the opinion that the petitioner who had opted for female gender and has undergone sex-reassignment surgery for aiding her self-perception would definitely be entitled to enrolment in NCC unit reckoning her as a transgender and further as a member of her self-perceived gender, i.e., female gender. In the instant case, I am of the opinion that the petitioner is entitled to enrolment in the NCC Senior Girls Division and rejection of request of petitioner for such enrollment is completely unsustainable”, Justice Sivaraman stated in her order.

The recent judgment enables a transgender person to join the youth wing of the Armed Forces. It also stated that the right to dignity as maintained in the 2014 NALSA judgement and enshrined in the Transgender Act, 2020 will prevail over NCC’s lack of provisions to enroll transgender people.

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