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Transgender people have equal rights: FSC

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Shariat Court Wednesday observed that transgender people are a reality and it is incumbent upon every individual to give them respect as they are the citizens of the country and have equal rights in the Constitution. A three-member Federal Shariat bench headed by Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai heard petitions filed for examining the law for the protection of transgender people. The court allowed the application of columnist Aurya Maqbool Jan, requesting for becoming a party to the instant matter besides issuing a notice to the attorney-general and adjourned the hearing until Nov 20. The court held that the case would be decided after hearing the parties as well as the attorney-general and observed that the parties could file their respective replies in the matter. The court held that the law pertaining to protection of transgender people will be examined in the light of Islam as well as Shariah principles as the court observed that the parties have different views. One view is that the law will promote homosexuality while the other says it has usurped the rights of transgender people, the bench observed. Aurya Maqbool Jan pleaded he wants to assist the bench and will cite laws of some 98 countries, adding that this is a case related to basic human rights as well as public interest matter. He told the bench that he was ready to come daily from Lahore to attend the proceedings in the instant matter. The court accepted his plea. During the hearing, one Ayesha Mughal, a representative of transgender community, requested the bench to hear her before deciding the matter. She said that she is a lecture and wants to assist the court. The Chief Justice of the Shariah Court observed that all the parties will be heard before deciding the matter.