The Centre has told the Supreme Court that women will be allowed to be inducted into the National Defence Academy (NDA). Centre’s additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati told the bench headed by Justice S K Kaul that the armed forces and the government have decided that women will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA. The apex court’s permission was sought by ASG through affidavit, which also asked for status quo on this year’s NDA exam.
The bench said that it is happy that the heads of armed forces have taken a positive decision.
“Put on record, we will take up the matter. We are happy with the stand. let us hear the matter next week. Reforms cannot happen in a day. We are also conscious of that,” it added.
“They are very respected forces of the country but on gender equality they have to do more and sometimes the resistance does not come out well,” added the bench, also comprising Justice M M Sundresh. The matter is listed for hearing after two weeks.
Advocate Kush Kalra had filed a plea, which raised the issue of exclusion of eligible and willing female candidates from joining the prestigious NDA on the basis of gender, questioning the very basic fundamental right of equality.
As per the plea, unmarried male candidates having adequate 10+2 qualification are allowed to take the ‘National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination’, whereas eligible and willing female candidates are not allowed to take the examination.
There are no reasonable or justifiable explanations within the Constitution for this. The women cannot enter into armed forces as they are denied taking the examination.
“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,” it added.