The Delhi High Court on Tuesday gave a deadline of eight weeks for constructing public toilets for transgender people in the national capital, while warning that it would seek personal appearance of the top officials concerned of the Delhi government and the NDMC in case of non-compliance.
A bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad was hearing a PIL filed by Jasmine Kaur Chhabra seeking direction to construct separate washrooms for the third gender on the ground that the absence of such public toilets makes them prone to sexual assault and harassment.
The court noted that the city government's status report stated that the process of construction was stated to be underway and no public toilets have been built for the transgender population.
The status report filed by the New Delhi Municipal Council also indicated the existence of paper work but the ground reality is that nothing has been done.
The matter has been listed for hearing on July 14.
The court observed that the status report has been filed in which it has been stated that the state has taken appropriate action keeping in view the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in the matter of construction of public toilets for transgender persons but the report also reveals that toilets have not been constructed at all.
"Feasibility report does not mean that toilet has been constructed and therefore eight weeks' time is granted by way of last indulgence to the NDMC," the court said, while directing to ensure that toilet are in place before the next date of hearing.
"It is also made clear that if the toilets are not constructed within the aforesaid period, the court shall be directing the appearance of Secretary, PWD on the next date of hearing," the bench said.
Counsel appearing for the city government assured the process of construction will begin soon.
Meanwhile, the bench asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and other local bodies to file a detailed status report in respect of the total number of toilets for transgender persons.