Delhi HC Ensures Police Protection for Transgender Lok Sabha Candidate

In a landmark decision, the Delhi High Court has granted police protection to Rajan Singh, a transgender individual aspiring to contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections from the South Delhi constituency. The court’s intervention comes after Singh reported a life-threatening attack and expressed concerns over his safety.

Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta issued the order on Monday, emphasizing the constitutional right to equal protection under the law, as stipulated in Article 14. This article ensures nondiscrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, thus safeguarding Singh’s participation in the electoral process.

Singh, who is backed by the Rashtriya Bahujan Congress Party, approached the court after he was attacked on April 12 in his office in Badarpur. Following the incident, he sought police protection to safely file his nomination papers and to participate in the election. Despite reaching out to the Election Commission of India on April 14, Singh had not received any assurance of security, prompting the legal action.

During the court proceedings, the counsel for the Election Commission noted that the nomination process began only recently, on April 29, and assured that Singh could legally request security. Meanwhile, the Delhi police, represented by their counsel, committed to a thorough investigation of the April attack and promised to communicate the findings within two weeks.

The High Court’s directive requires the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) to ensure the safety of Singh as he prepares to contest the election. Additionally, the Station House Officer (SHO) involved has been instructed to provide personal contact details to Singh for any immediate needs related to his security.

Advocate Subhash Chand Budhiraja, representing Singh, highlighted the challenges faced by transgender individuals in politics, particularly those involving security and discrimination. The court’s decision has been hailed as a significant step forward in protecting the rights and safety of transgender candidates in India.

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This ruling not only protects Singh but also sets a precedent for the safety and inclusivity of transgender individuals in the electoral process. It reinforces the commitment of the Indian judiciary to uphold the rights of all citizens, regardless of their gender identity, ensuring they can participate fully and safely in the democratic process.

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