Bar On Entry Of Married Persons In JAG During Training Period Reasonable, In Public Interest: Centre To Delhi High Court
The Union of India has informed Delhi High Court that its policy placing a bar on entry of married males and female officers in recruitment to Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) department during the training period is a “reasonable restriction” placed in public interest and national security.Defending the policy, the Central Government has submitted that the prohibition of...
The Union of India has informed Delhi High Court that its policy placing a bar on entry of married males and female officers in recruitment to Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) department during the training period is a “reasonable restriction” placed in public interest and national security.
Defending the policy, the Central Government has submitted that the prohibition of marriage during training period before successful commission is felt to be a reasonable restriction put in the interest of the candidates as well as organisation.
The submissions have been made in an affidavit filed in a public interest litigation filed by one Kush Kalra against the bar on considering married individuals for appointment in the legal arm of Indian Army.
The court had asked the government to file a response on the rationale behind the bar on entry of married males and females in JAG as far as it relates to pre-commission training.
It has been submitted that both males and females are treated equally in the Indian Army and are granted equal opportunity in all service conditions and benefits.
However, the government states that the condition of being unmarried for both male and female candidates aged between 21 to 27 years for grant of commission is restricted only for the period of recruitment and pre-commissioned training “which involves a high amount of physical and mental stress, strain and rigours of military training.”
“Once unmarried lady cadets and gentlemen cadets complete their training and are granted commission, there is no bar for getting married or its natural consequences of pregnancy etc and service benefits viz. maternity leave, child care leave, paternity leave or married accommodation etc. During conduct of Basic Military Training, which lasts for minimum one year, such provisions are not possible,” the response states.
The government further said that since pregnancy and giving birth to a child is considered as natural right for a women and she cannot be deprived of that, “such precautionary conditions” have been laid down in the interest of women candidates themselves.
“With regard to male officers the answering respondents, without prejudice, respectfully submit that the rigor of training and initial years of service do not permit an officer to get married during training or to address certain requirements of married life to include situations of emergency,” the response adds.
The plea seeks appointment of candidates aged 21 to 27 years, both male and female, whether married or unmarried, in the JAG department.
The matter will now be heard on July 17.
Title: KUSH KALRA v. UOI & ANR