21:13 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Ganga Kumari

    Indian Transgender Person Becomes Cop After Protracted Legal Battle

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    An Indian court has ordered the police force of Rajasthan state to allow Ganga, a transgender person, to join the force as she had cleared all requisite examinations, but was still denied an appointment.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Rajasthan high court has upheld the appointment of the state's first, and India's third, transgender cop. Justice Dinesh Mehta in his order asked the city police department to allow Ganga to join the police force within six weeks from the date of the court's order.

    A resident of Jkheri village in Jalore district of India's northwestern state of Rajasthan, Ganga had appeared for the police recruitment examination in 2013. She cleared the examination, but her appointment with Jalore police was held up after she was found to be transgender during the medical examination. She had ticked "female" in the application form, as there was no third gender option.

    Her case was referred to police headquarters for its opinion, but there was no conclusion. The case finally went to the home department, where it has remained undecided since 2015.

    READ MORE: First Transgender Lawmaker Elected to State Legislature in US

    In April 2015, India's apex court acknowledged transgender as "the third gender" paving the way for Ganga to seek the court's intervention.

    "I had no option than to move the high court for relief and I am happy that the court understood the plight of the third gender and directed the department to give my appointment. I was very disappointed when, despite clearing the examination, my appointment as a constable was held up by the police department only because I am a transgender [person] and the department could not reach any decision about my appointment with regard to my category," PTI quoted Ganga as saying.

    Legal experts in India are of the opinion that Ganga's case will set a valuable precedent.

    "The honorable Supreme Court in its landmark judgment in April 2015 acknowledged a third gender [that] is neither male nor female and ordered the government to ensure that transgender persons face no discrimination. But as Ganga Kumari's case shows, there is still a lot needs to be done to spread the essence of that judgment and ensure that transgender persons to get their rights. That way, the Rajasthan high court's judgment will further help their cause," Akhilesh Bansal, a senior advocate with the Delhi high court, told Sputnik.

    Ganga's transgender sister Geeta, who is currently pursuing post-graduate studies, is also looking forward to become a public servant.

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