-Report by Anurag Sinha
As part of a petition contesting the blood donor standards, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has filed an affidavit challenging the guidelines’ outright restriction on transgender people, gay males, female sex workers, and others donating blood.
It has been reported that the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC, an organisation made up of medical and scientific professionals) is responsible for determining which groups of people are barred from being blood donors and that this conclusion is grounded in data from scientific studies.
The affidavit begins by arguing that the petition’s concerns are within the purview of the executive and must be evaluated from the perspective of public health rather than individual rights.
The Public Interest Litigation by a member of the Transgender community. Thangjam Santa A lawsuit against Singh, represented by lawyer Anindita Pujari, was filed in federal court “Under the auspices of the Central Health Ministry, the National Blood Transfusion Council and the National Aids Control Organization released their 2017 Guidelines for Blood Donor Selection and Blood Donor Referral in October.
Guidelines clauses 12 and 51 exclude transgender people, gay males, and female sex workers from donating blood since they are a high-risk group for contracting HIV/AIDS. The Ministry now claims in its affidavit that there is sufficient information to show “HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C diseases pose a threat for transgender people, men who have sex with males, and female sex workers. It claims that the petitioners haven’t contested the exclusion of people at risk for HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C infections, but rather the inclusion of transgender people, gay males, and female sex workers in the ‘at risk’ category. The affidavit responded to the challenge by citing the following academic papers in an effort to back up its assertion that the named persons were, in fact, at risk.
Two gay men from Hyderabad have filed a new public interest litigation (PIL) with the Supreme Court of India, arguing for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in India under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.
Our Chief Justice DY. Chandrachud will preside over a Supreme Court bench today.
Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, the petitioners, have been in a relationship for over a decade. Because of the epidemic, both couples and their families were reminded of life’s fragility. They were both infected with COVID during the second wave. As soon as they felt well, they made plans to celebrate their 9th anniversary with family and friends by having a wedding-cum-commitment ceremony. In December 2021, they conducted a commitment ceremony when their loved ones gave their approval to their partnership.
Petitioners argued that the Special Marriage Act violates India’s constitution because it treats same-sex couples differently than those of the opposite sex by denying them the legal protections, social recognition, and legal standing that come with marriage. The petitioners state that the Indian Supreme Court has historically upheld the freedom to marry anyone regardless of caste or religion. The constitutional movement towards same-sex marriage is an extension of this trend. As the Supreme Court has already ruled in the Navtej Singh Johar and Puttaswamy cases that LGBTQ+ people have the same rights to equality, dignity, and privacy as any other citizen, the Petitioners contend that the right to marry the person of one’s choice should also apply to LGBTQ+ people.
The Special Marriage Act, Foreign Marriage Act, and Hindu Marriage Act have all been challenged in nine separate cases before the Delhi High Court and the Kerala High Court, all seeking to recognise same-sex marriage. The Ministry’s Deputy Solicitor General told the Kerala High Court earlier this month that preparations are being made to have all writ petitions transferred to the Supreme Court.
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