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Trans Beggar Freed By Delhi Appeals Court

Trans Beggar Freed By Delhi Appeals Court

A New Delhi judge has overturned a lower court’s conviction of a transgender beggar, chastising the lower court for not properly accounting for the hardship the appellant faces due to widespread discrimination against transgender and gender variant citizens.

The beggar, known only as Rani, was sentenced to two years in a detention home under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act by a special metropolitan magistrate after being found begging at a red light at Moor Chand flyover in November 2010. Rani appealed the ruling.

The district court of appeals in a decision issued June 6 overturned the lower court’s penalty and had a stern rebuke for the court’s lack of judgement.

From The Times of India:

Setting aside the order of a special metropolitan magistrate sending appellant transgender Rani to the beggars’ home for two years, district and additional session Judge AK Chawla said: “The appeal is accepted and the order of detention is set aside.” “It is ordered that the appellant be released after due admonition on a personal bond of Rs 1,000. Appeal stands disposed of accordingly,” the court said in its June 6 order. The court said that the transgender had a right to lead a life of dignity and earn a livelihood.

More from MSN India:

The district court noted that while passing the order, the magistrate should have had regard to the age and character of the beggar, the circumstances and conditions in which the person was living and the report made by the probation officer.

It noted the report of the probation officer in the case was silent on the [appellants] character, living conditions or antecedents like family background and circumstances, which forced Rani to beg.

Criticising the special metropolitan magistrate”s order of conviction, the court said, “It is totally silent on the circumstances in which the appellant was living and now is there any material on record about his antecedents.”

Rani was released with a warning on a personal bond of Rs 1,000.

India stands among only a handful of countries where eunuchs still exist. As a group they are often ostracized by the general population and usually make a living through combinations of begging or sex work. Compounding their woes, they may lack the documentation that would give them citizenship entitlement rights.

India’s Hijras, a culturally long established third gender, have recently been given government recognition in various, if limited, forms.

However gender variant citizens, even those as marinated in India’s history as Hijras are, still face marginalization to the point of extreme poverty and vulnerability. While this may be something that is slowly changing, the change is glacial.

As such, the Court’s recognition of Ranni’s plight, while not perfect, is certainly noteworthy.

Related Reading:

New York Assembly Passes Trans Protections

VHA Issues New Directive on Trans and Intersex Veteran Health Care

Portland Adopts Trans-Inclusive Health Care Benefits


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Tom Spender.

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5:43AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

Sad. Agree with Marie W.

11:16PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Every person on this planet is, unsurprisingly, a human being and should be treated as such.

8:17PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Still a caste driven society.

7:30PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

These people should be treated as the humans they are.

5:24PM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Is this about a "transgender" or a "eunuch" ???

7:49AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Eunuchs? O_O
Who castrates them? And why?
If anyone knows the answer to my question, please send me a personal message. Dont expect a reply; my account is messed up -.-

5:03AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

oh boy, sorry about the typos and bad grammar. Here's the fixed version:

A beggars' home? Sounds like the Work house or the Debtor's Prison. This sounds very Dickensian but they existed (in England, at least) until the very early 1900s. I believe most had disappeared by 1910 because, ironically, they cost too much to operate. Hardly surprising because if you lock people up then you have to house, feed and clothe them.

5:00AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

A beggars' home? Sounds like the Work house or the Debtor's Prison. This sounds very Dickensian but the existing until the very early 1900s.

4:17AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Thanks for the info.
It's nice that the judge from the court of appeals sided with Rani.

3:45AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

I'm glad that commond sense prevailed but the probation service needs a shake up. Probation are supposed to provide all of the information that appears to have been missing so that an appropriate sentence can be made. Punishing someone for being transgender might as well have been because this person had brown eyes!!

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