The Delhi High court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kush Kalra alleging institutionalized discrimination against women in recruitment in Indian Army. Petitioner further alleged that the Army does not recruit women in Engineering Corp and University Entry Scheme and such a discrimination based on gender is a breach of their fundamental right.
Indian Army has also filed an Affidavit before the High Court and stating that there is no violation of fundamental rights of women as far as the recruitment to the Indian Army is concerned and that the Army has taken constructive steps to make sure women’s are recruited into the Indian Army and specially formulated and executed policy to grant permanent commission to women officers in Judge Advocate General department and Army Education Corps.
The Army further said, that the accusations of discrimination against women with respect to their recruitment to the Indian Army is unjustified, unsupported and devoid of any merit as it spoke of how the Indian Army in 1992 introduced women’s special entry scheme officers for recruitment of short service commission women officer, prior to which there was no provision for entry of women officers to the Indian Army.
The Indian Army, on the other hand, sought for dismissal of the petition stating that the petitioner has not challenged the Constitutionality of Section 12 of the Army Act, 1950 and further stated in the affidavit that women officers are initially commissioned as Short Service Commission officers for a period of 5 years to the Army Education Corps and in addition to Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Judge Advocate General department.
Lastly quoting Section 12 of the Army Act, 1950, said, “Keeping in view the provisions of the Act and the maintenance of fighting efficiency, combat effectiveness, functionality of armed forces, service requirement, vacancy, suitability, merit, and willingness as decided by the servicewomen officers who are initially inducted as Short Service Commission officers in Army Education Corps are granted permanent commission in the Army Education Corps.”