Kerala HC while addressing Haneefa’s petition challenging the NCC Act of only allowing males and females to enroll, allowed a trans woman to seek admission into NCC.

The Kerala HC (High Court) on Monday, 15 March, ruled that Hina Haneefa, a 21-year-old transgender woman, can be enrolled in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Haneefa had challenged a decision of the NCC to exclude her from the women’s wing of the corps.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Anu Sivaraman. And as per the judgment, a transgender person is entitled to be admitted to the NCC in accordance with their self-perceived gender identity. In other words, Haneefa, who identifies as a woman, can be inducted into the female wing of the NCC. The judgment said that the right to dignity as enshrined in the NALSA judgment, 2014 and the Transgender Act, 2019 trumps the NCC’s argument that the latter does not have rules to enroll transgender persons.

Haneefa had challenged Section 6 of the NCC Act 1948 which classifies enrolment based on two genders – male and female. The Ministry of Defense, which governs the NCC, argued that it cannot induct a transgender person because the NCC Act does not permit it to. This judgment is expected to pave the way for transgender persons’ entry into paramilitary and military services.

This ruling comes as an historic judgement for the Trans community and Haneefa’s fight for her identity. It is a step towards a better future tomorrow that accepts all as one. That is why today Haneefa’s win is a historic moment not just for the Trans community but for us as a society.

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