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Supreme Court Issues Notice In PIL Seeking Directions To Allow Female Candidates To Join And Train At National Defence Academy

Srishti Ojha
10 March 2021 8:42 AM GMT
Supreme Court Issues Notice In PIL Seeking Directions To Allow Female Candidates To Join And Train At National Defence Academy
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Supreme Court has on Wednesday issued notice in plea seeking directions for necessary steps to be taken to allow eligible female candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination and train at the National Defence Academy;A three-judge Bench of CJI SA Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian issued the direction while hearing a public interest...

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Supreme Court has on Wednesday issued notice in plea seeking directions for necessary steps to be taken to allow eligible female candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination and train at the National Defence Academy;

A three-judge Bench of CJI SA Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian issued the direction while hearing a public interest petition raising the issue of violation of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution of India by denying the opportunity to eligible and willing female candidates to join the National Defence Academy and afford them a chance to enrol, train and develop themselves in the National Defence Academy into future leaders of the Indian Armed Forces

The petitioner Kush Kalra was represented by Advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma and Advocate Mohit Paul before the Court.

According to the petitioner, the eligible and willing female candidates are being denied the opportunity of entry to the National Defence Academy on the basis of their sex, thereby systematically and categorically excluding eligible female candidates the opportunity to train at the premier joint training institute of the Indian Armed Forces which, at a later point of time, becomes a hurdle in the career advancement opportunities for Female Officers in the Armed Forces

The plea has stated that the act of the respondents to categorically exclude eligible and willing female candidates from appearing for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination over the years, solely on the ground of sex, is a violation of the Fundamental Right of Equality before the Law and Equal Protection of the law. The categorical exclusion of eligible female candidates from entering the National Defence Academy is not constitutionally justifiable and is simply done on the basis of their sex. However, the Supreme Court in the matter of Secretary, Ministry of Defence v. Babita Puniya and Ors., clearly observed that the gender roles or the physiological features of a woman have no significance to her equal entitlements under the Constitution of India.

The plea has further stated tha texclusion of women solely on the ground of sex is a violation of the Fundamental Right to Protection from Discrimination by the State on the Ground of Sex. While unmarried male candidates having adequate 10+2 qualification are allowed to take the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination, eligible and willing female candidates are not allowed to take the said Examination on the sole ground of their sex and without any reasonable or justifiable explanations within the four comers of the Constitution.

"The eligible female candidates having adequate 10+2 level of education are denied the opportunity to take the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination on the ground of their sex and the consequence of this denial is that at the 10+2 level of education, the eligible female candidates do not have access to any mode of entry to join the Armed Forces as Officers. Whereas, equally and similarly situated male candidates with 10+2 level of education have the opportunity to take the Examination and after qualifying join the National Defence Academy to get trained to be commissioned as Permanent Commissioned Officers in the Indian

Armed Forces. This is a clear violation of the Fundamental Right to Equality of Opportunity in Matters of Public Employment and the Fundamental Right to Protection from Discrimination by the State on the Ground of Sex in Respect of any Employment or Office under the State." the plea states.

The petition has also stated that the categorical exclusion of women to train at the National Defence Academy and get commissioned into the Armed Forces of the Country as Permanent Commissioned Officers solely on the basis of their sex is a denial of the Fundamental Right to Practice any Profession and it is not justifiable within the contours of the Indian Constitution

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