New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a move considered historic for the women of the country, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the armed forces have decided to induct women into the National Defence Academy (NDA). Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice S K Kaul that a decision has been taken at the highest level of the armed forces as also the government that females will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA.

Justice Kaul said that the court has been periodically nudging the authorities to do it themselves, and sometimes things only move when the court steps in. "Armed forces are respected forces of this country. But on gender equality they have to do more", said Justice Kaul. Bhati said it will be path-breaking and generational reform.

There is a piece of good news. A decision has been taken at the highest level of forces and government that women will be inducted for Permanent Commission through the National Defence Academy. The decision was taken late evening yesterday," ASG Bhati submitted.

The Bench said it would like the Defence forces to take a "more pro-active approach towards gender equality" instead of the court directing them to do so. "We have been periodically nudging the authorities to do it themselves. We do believe they are best suited to evolve rules. It's not a happy situation for us. Armed forces are respected forces of this country but on gender equality, they have to do more," said Justice Kaul.

The apex asked ASG Bhati to put the statement on record through an affidavit and adjourned the matter for two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on September 22. "We are extremely glad to know as ASG submits that armed forces have taken a decision to induct females in NDA and other issues are being examined. They would like to place developments and future plans before us for which time is sought," it said.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Kush Kalra raising the issue of exclusion of eligible and willing female candidates from joining the prestigious NDA solely on the ground of gender which allegedly is a violation of the fundamental right of equality

Earlier, the top court had in an interim order allowed women to take the NDA exam which was scheduled for September 5, and had also slammed the Indian Army for the decisions that are based on 'gender discrimination'.

 

(With ANI, PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan