Mumbai: In a respite to the eunuchs in the state, the Bombay High court on Friday asked the Centre as well as the state government to inform within three weeks which ministry or department would deal with their problems.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a city-based NGO 'Salvation of Oppressed Eunuchs', seeking fundamental rights for the eunuchs. The PIL sought they be treated as humans and given the right to vote.

The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar gave the direction after it was pointed that the eunuchs were made to run from pillar to post for any kind of documentation work.

Additional government pleader G W Mattos contended that the state election commission had issued a circular directing the electoral officers to permit eunuchs to mention their gender as 'other' instead of male or female and also said that a voter's card would be considered a valid identity proof.

However, co-petitioner Dr Piyush Saxena pointed to the court that once the eunuchs quit their homes, they do not possess any documents to prove their age and it becomes very difficult to get documents showing their identity.

Saxena further argued in the court that government hospitals may have a panel of doctors, who would perform castration on persons, who want to become transgenders.