Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has issued a notice to the Assam government over its “failure” to establish a transgender welfare board and a transgender cell in the state.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Soumitra Saikia sought a response from the state government within three weeks after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the All Assam Transgender Association, which is a registered body.

The high court adjudicated upon the plea moved by transgender activist Swati Bidhan Baruah.

“Under the law, a Transgender Welfare Board and a Transgender Cell are liable to be established in the state of Assam. All the same, this has not been done. Issue notice, returnable on February 18, 2022,” the court ordered.

Government advocate M Chetia accepted the notice on behalf of the state government. 

The court asked the respondents to file a reply in the matter within three weeks.

The matter was taken up through video conferencing on Friday.

It may be noted that in April 2021, the Supreme Court had issued notice in PIL “seeking establishment of Transgender Welfare Board and appointing Standing Committee to investigate gross abuse against trans-persons by police”.

The court had sought responses from the Centre and states on a plea of the Kinner Maa Eksamajik Sanstha Trust seeking directions to establish transgender welfare board to address their social welfare issues.

In November 2021, the Gauhati High Court had sought the state’s response on its measures taken for the health and welfare of the transgender community.

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