A division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy passed the interim order in a writ petition filed by Kush Kalra seeking permission for women candidates to appear for the NDA exam scheduled for September 5.
The plea said that authorities allow unmarried male candidates having adequate 10+2 qualification to take the ‘National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination’, but eligible and willing female candidates are not allowed to take the examination on the sole ground of their sex. This is a clear violation of the Fundamental Rights of women.
Justice Kaul inquired from ASD Aishwarya Bhati, “Why are you continuing in this direction? Even after Justice Chandrachud’s judgment (landmark verdict in which the apex court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings)?
He added “Will the Army only act when a judicial order is passed? Not otherwise?”
To this the ASG responded that there are 3 modes of entry in the Army- NDA, Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA)- and that women are permitted entry through OTA and IMA.
Even if you are allowing women’s entry through 2 sources! Why should one additional source of entry is closed for women? Questioned justice Roy.
Judges said that airforce and navy are more liberal by giving recognition to female candidates.
Justice Kaul concluded and said “ The broad principle of gender neutrality you must understand and adapt it in the backdrop of your peculiarities! Us passing blanket orders does not advance the cause!”