Rights ministry told to notify rules to implement transgender persons’ law

Pakistan Press Foundation

The Sindh High Court has directed the ministry of human rights to notify rules and all relevant guidelines within two months and implement the Transgender Persons (protection of rights) Act, 2018.

The direction came during a hearing of a petition of M Tariq Mansoor, an advocate, seeking full and effective participation of transgender persons and their inclusion in society and the implementation of the Transgender persons Act, 2018.

The assistant attorney general filed a statement on behalf of the assistant director of the ministry of human rights, mentioning that the ministry was working on the formulation of rules/guidelines and it was also reviewing relevant policies and guidelines to formulate rules for effective implementation of the act.

The law officer submitted that the ministry had constituted a national implementation committee which comprised 13 members with the secretary of the ministry as its chairperson for effective implementation of the law. He submitted that the ministry had also appointed a transgender person to work as the transgender expert and to serve as the coordinator of the national commission.

He further submitted that the ministry had developed guidelines for police authorities with respect to the treatment of the transgender citizens in order to ensure compliance with Section 6(B) of the act; besides, it conducted sensitisation sessions and consultations on the aid guidelines with Islamabad and Rawalpindi police.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that there was no cavil at the proposition that the act was promulgated in 2018 and the government was obligated to make best possible arrangements to ensure facilitation to secure full and effective participation of transgender citizens. The judge said all fundamental rights had also been extended to these persons, but despite that no proper rules had been framed as provided under Section 20 of the act nor had the law been implemented.

The court observed that the ministry of human rights had filed a statement mentioning that it was working on the formulation of rules and gad constituted a 13- member implementation committee for the treatment of transgender citizens in order to ensure compliance with of the act.

The court observed that since some positive steps seemed to have been taken, the petition was disposed with a direction to the ministry to notify rules and relevant guidelines within 60 days and implement the law in letter and spirit.

Regarding the petitioner’s plea with regard to amendments in the constitution, the court observed that it was not the domain of the court as Article 238 of the constitution may be amended by an act of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament).

Transport fares

The Sindh High Court has directed the transport department to issue a proper notification with regard to transport fares and ensure that it is made available to the general public for awareness.

The direction came during a hearing of a petition of Mohammad Shahnawaz seeking determination of public transport fares and issuance of a notification to safeguard the interest of the public so that the public transport did not charge higher fares on their own and they should follow the fares fixed by the transport department.

The focal person of the transport department, Yar Mohammad Khokar, submitted that three meetings had been convened with all stakeholders and the association of bus owners. He said that a new notification with regard to transport fares would be issued within a month, which would be followed and implemented by all transporters in Sindh.

The court, after taking the statement of the transport department’s official on record, directed the department to issue a notification of transport fares within one month and make it available for awareness of the public.


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