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Delhi HC asks Centre to decide representation to include women in armed forces through CDS exam

The petition said that the exclusion of eligible female candidates from the opportunity to get training at the premier Indian training institutes is a violation of their fundamental right to equality.
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 11:41 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 11:41 IST

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to decide in eight weeks a representation seeking the entry of women in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Air Force Academy of the Indian Armed Forces through the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination.

The court passed the order on a petition by Kush Kalra, who challenged a December 2023 notification issued by the UPSC inviting application for recruitment in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy of the Indian Armed Forces and Officers Training Academy (OTA) through the CDS examination.

Noting that the petitioner's representation on the issue was still pending with the authorities, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora on Friday said, 'the writ petition is disposed of with a direction to the respondent to decide the representation in accordance with law within eight weeks'.

The petitioner contended that the notification unjustifiably excluded females to appear in the examination to be conducted for the IMA, INA and IAF solely on the grounds of their gender as it only permits them to be considered for Short Service Commission at OTA.

As per the petitioner, now that the Ministry of Defence has removed its entry barrier for females through the NDA examination and the number of female candidates being recruited is increasing every year, there is no reason why the females should not be recruited through the CDS examination for the IMA, INA and IAF.

The exclusion of eligible female candidates from the opportunity to get training at the premier Indian training institutes is a violation of their fundamental right to equality, the petition said.

"The respondents allow the unmarried male candidates having adequate degree to take the CDS Examination and join Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy."

"However, eligible and willing female candidates are not allowed to take the same examination on the sole ground of their sex and without any reasonable or justifiable explanations within the four comers of the Constitution and this act of discrimination is a dishonour committed by the respondents to the constitutional values of equality and non-discrimination," the petitioner asserted.

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Published 27 April 2024, 11:41 IST

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