The Madras High Court on Thursday granted a week’s time for the State government to consider a plea made by transgender rights activist Grace Banu to provide the COVID-19 relief amount of ₹4,000 to transgender persons who do not possess ration cards. The time was granted after Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram assured the court that the request would certainly be considered.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy recorded the submission and asked the A-G to respond by May 27. The litigant stated that most transgender persons in the State do not possess a ration cards or the identity cards that were being used earlier by the welfare boards and now by the Collectors after the enactment of a new law.
In the affidavit, filed through advocate C. Prabhu, the litigant had claimed that there were more than 50,000 transgender persons in the State though the available government data put the number at 11,449 among whom 2,541 had been issued with ration cards. The petitioner feared that the restriction of the relief only to ration card holders would lead to exclusion of many transgender persons.