Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Day 13: Friends@Prajnya Twitter Takeover: "Gender-Based Violence Against Transgender Persons" || @kanmanisays

     On December 7th, 2020, from 4 PM to 6 PM, we had Kanmani Ray LR (@kanmanisays), trans activist and organiser, tweet about "Gender-Based Violence Against Transgender Persons":

Hello everyone, this is @kanmanisays taking over. Will be tweeting on gender-based violence against transgender persons now until 6 pm today. I am a law student & my focus will be on criminal law specifically. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:09PM)

Tbh, let's start with the very basic of criminal law- Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sections 8 & 10 of IPC, still use pronouns 'he', words - 'man' & 'woman' &  'person' still means 'company/ association'. Some of this has already been said before. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:16PM)


Especially yesterday by Dr. @mrinalsatish as part of @CLPRtrust's TransForm Conference on youtube as well by many others. However why is this important? #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:19PM)

Because- trans persons don't get covered as victims & hence no legal protection u/ IPC. What does that mean-- trans persons can't file an FIR in case of facing sexual violence or claim any protection/affirmative action/available to cis women survivors. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:23PM)

This happened in the case of Anamika v UOI 2018 wherein the trans woman faced sexual harassment but the case was closed. A petition was filed in Delhi High Court #nosgbv #prajnya16days @TheLeaflet_in (07/12/2020, 4:30PM)

The police said- the FIR can be filed u/ Sections 354A (i), (ii) & (iv)- it reads as below. Please note that three of the sub-sections don't mention woman as the victim, but the accused has to be clearly a man. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:41PM)


While every other provision in IPC concerning sexual offences is somehow stuck in the same binary space. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 4:43PM)

Now we have a transgender persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019- however the Act and the notified rules are contradictory & a mess. But what does that have to do with criminal law? #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Who gets to access criminal law is controlled & Gatekeeping by the Act. So while the Act insisted on surgery for binary man/woman gender recognition, the rules after much push back modified it to a lesser medical intervention as necessary. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Which means anyone who is recognised as a 'transgender person' & not as a man/woman, given the earlier tweets in this thread, will not get to access remedies under IPC. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

 The only remedy then remains for anyone who is legally recognised as a transgender person who faces sexual violence is Section 18(d) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act at the moment. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

 Section 18(d) prescribes a punishment of 6 months to 2 years. This is offensive & outrageous. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. You can check the speech out @CLPRtrust's TransForm Conference here: (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Anyone who knows of criminal law would tell you this- that an offence whose maximum punishment is 2 years is often a 'Bailable offence', which means the bail is a matter of right for the accused person, not a matter of discretion left w/ the court. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Which means any kind of 'sexual abuse'  faced by a trans person is not as serious, is not equal or on the same footing as any other sexual offence which currently protects cisgender women and not us. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

also means, there is higher incentive for accused person to be out of jail despite being accused of sexual abuse of a trans person, which also means greater danger for the victims who are trans persons even if we come forward to file an FIR. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

This should be seen in the context of the criminal law reforms post 2013. We now have a range of victim protection provisions including the fact that cis women cannot be arrested post sunset or without a woman police person present etc. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020: 5:19PM)

Section 18(d), is a CutCopypaste from Section 3(a) of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. A provision in the context of a civil remedy law to define 'domestic violence' is being imposed in this Act to create criminal remedy. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:20PM)

It's interesting because the Act never specifies that this 18(d) is only in the context of domestic violence. Instead it places the power in the court to place us in rehabilitation centres. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:20PM)

So while hard fought rights to reside, the right to maintenance, the right to the household has never reached or found place in the Act. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 5:20PM)

It's important in this context to recognise how kidnapping (Section 359) is often used by parents of estranged couples on transgender persons (as well on queer persons) #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:31PM)

Anti-begging laws, anti-trafficking laws are used a lot like Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act, especially against trans persons on the streets & trans sex workers. @NNSWIndia #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:31PM)

Having said all this what is the solution(s) - there are no easy answers either. The criminal law reforms committee is doing consultations literally during a pandemic in a highly inaccessible manner through the internet. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:34PM)

This important session hosted by @LiveLawIndia on their YouTube Channel is an important eye opener to the pitfalls & the problems of the criminal law reform committee & why it's process is very wrong! #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:37PM)

Apart from this there is an important @redditindia AMA thread by @Dalit_Swag & @arushigarg90 that's critical to why this undemocratic, opaque criminal reforms committee needs to be questioned & held accountable: #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:43PM)

Apart from this there has been a statement from queer feminists, activists on why this committee is undemocratic, opaque etc: #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:47PM)

The entire idea behind talking on Gender-based violence against transgender persons, around criminal law is to focus on the breadth of work needed to change the situation. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:51PM)

Right from the older colonial laws of IPC,CrPC, Evidence Act, to recent Trans Act, to so-called committee constituted to change criminal law have major problems which from a legal perspective contributes to gender based violence on us, trans persons. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:51PM)


With this I shall end the takeover. Have attempted to give only short snippets & point to larger issues which need discussion. Hope this was informative. Thank you for the opportunity :) #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:57PM)




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