Poll panel gives ‘other’ identity rights to eunuchs/transsexuals


New Delhi : The Election Commission Thursday decided to allow eunuchs and transsexuals to indicate their sex as ‘Other’ in the electoral roll.

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“Enumerators and Booth Level Officers (BLOs) shall be instructed to indicate the sex of eunuchs/transsexuals etc. as ‘O’ if they so desire, while undertaking any house-to-house enumeration/verification of any application,” the poll panel said in a statement here.

The decision also applies to all other forms used by the Election Commission in which the sex of the elector has to be written, including IT-based formats and website.

The commission has issued necessary instructions to all Electoral Registration Officers through the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and Union Territories to implement the decision of the commission, the statement said.

The poll panel said the eunuchs were registered in electoral rolls either as male or as female, on the basis of the statement given by the person concerned.

“In the electoral rolls prepared by the Election Commission of India, the eunuchs were hitherto registered either as male or as female, on the basis of the statement made by the person concerned. This practice was being followed so far for indicating the sex of the eunuchs in the electoral roll,” it said.

The commission said it had been receiving representations from various individuals and interest groups to include the eunuchs in the electoral rolls with an independent identity.

The students of the Law Faculty of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, also made the same demand when Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla was addressing them, said the poll panel.

“The commission has duly considered the request and has decided to allow eunuchs/ transsexuals to indicate their sex as ‘Other’ where they do not want to be described as male or female,” it said.