Eunuchs to indicate their gender as 'other': Election Commission

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 12, 2009 17:10 hrs

In a significant decision, the Election Commission of India has decided to allow eunuchs/transsexuals to indicate their gender as 'other' where they do not want to be described as male or female.

Besides the electoral roll, the decision also applies to all other forms used by the Commission wherein the provisions of indication of gender of the elector is made, including IT based formats and website.

Necessary instructions have been issued to all Electoral Registration Officers through the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories to give effect to the above decision of the Commission.

Enumerators and Booth Level Officers (BLOs) shall be instructed to indicate the gender of eunuchs/ transsexuals as 'O' if they so desire, while undertaking any house-to-house enumeration/verification of any application.

Earlier, the eunuchs were 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.

The decision was taken as the Election Commission was receiving representations from various individuals and interest groups, including some students of the Law Faculty of KIIT, Orissa, when the Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla was addressing the students, to include the eunuchs in the electoral rolls with an independent identity. (ANI)