In a landmark decision, the Indian state of Bihar has said that it will set up a special unit cromprising of transgender police personell.
The decision was revealed in an affidavit submitted by the Bihar government before the Patna high court in response to a public interest litigation by Veera Yadava, according to a report in Live Law. The PIL had demanded reservation for transgender persons in the Police Department.
The affidavit said that the government is dedicated to providing a 'respectable representation' to the persons from the transgender community. In that endeavour, they will create a particular dedicated unit for Transgender Police Personnel named Special Unit (Transgender) at the district level which will be under the district Superintendent of Police.
"The object of giving respectful representation in public employment is the inclusion of transgender (persons) into the mainstream of the society as well as to boost their morale and thereby motivating them to deliver best i.e., a good society. It would also help to change the perception of society towards transgenders," said the affidavit.
The positions open to the transgender persons would be Constable and Sub-Inspector. The affidavit mentions that candidates eligible for the position might be less in numbers presently: "The possibility of eligible candidate of the transgender community for the appointment of constable and sub-inspector of Police would also be very low."
According to this quota, now the posts of one officer and four posts of constables and one post of Sub Inspector, in each district would be reserved for transgender persons.
Bihar Police Manual, 1978 would be used as guides for rules and regulations as the basic qualification required for direct recruitment of transgender on both the posts.
A superintendent of police would be the authority making direct recruitment for the post of constable while a DIG-rank officer would appoint people from this community as sub-inspectors (SI).
Earlier the conversation of creating a separate battalion was pitched but didn't seem feasible as only 0.039% of the population in the state identifies as transgender.
The submission was made before the division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar through an affidavit filed by Amir Subhani, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar.
On December 14, 2020, the Patna High Court had directed the state government to adopt a "sensitive approach" towards the community. Court had further remarked that "Even though the unit is small, it is a big step in acknowledging the identity of the persons belonging to such a community having a total population of about forty thousand persons which is 0.039% of the total population of Bihar."
According to the 2011 Census, the state has a population of 10.41 crore and out of them, 40,827 identified as transgender persons. In a government resolution, considering the population, Bihar could appoint 40 constables and 11 sub-inspectors to its police force, as per a report in The Indian Express.