Private member bill on transgender makes history

transgenderNEW DELHI: In a rare legislative action, a private member’s bill that aims to protect the rights of transgenders was passed unanimously by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha Friday.

It is the first private member’s bill passed by the Upper House in 36 years.

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014, moved by Tiruchi Siva (DMK), was passed as Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said it wouldn’t be proper if the House was divided as all were in favour of the rights of transgenders.

With the bill’s passage, the Rajya Sabha made history as the last private member’s bill was passed in 1979, when a law amending the Aligarh Muslim University Act 1977 was passed. It lapsed later.

The last private member’s bill to pass both Houses was on August 9, 1970 as the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill 1968 became law.

On Friday, the bill was passed with the full strength of the treasury benches, with most of the Opposition absent.

The bill was passed by voice vote in the presence of 19 ministers, including eight Cabinet members. Former PM Manmohan Singh was also present. Siva shook hands with several senior members present in the House, thanking them for supporting him in the bill’s passage.  – FROM Asian Age

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