The Centre told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a historic decision has been taken to allow the induction of female candidates in the National Defence Academy for Permanent Commission in the Indian armed forces.
The government took the decision on Tuesday after consulting with three service chiefs, it told the top court.” It will be path breaking and generational reform,” the Centre said in the court.
According to reports, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the court that the policy and procedure are being worked out to enable women to get Permanent Commission in the three defence forces. The top court has sought a timeline of when women will be given Permanent Commission in India.
The ASG sought apex court's permission to place the details on record through affidavit and sought status quo in this year's exams as this needs procedure and infrastructural changes. The top court said it has been periodically nudging the authorities to do it themselves and it believes that they are best suited to evolve the whole.
The Supreme Court remarked that the armed forces are a very respectable force in the country, however, they need to do more towards gender equality. The apex court added that it hoped the defence forces value the significance of the role women are performing.
“Its not a happy situation for us to step in where we would like the Armed forces to do it themselves, they are respected forces, but on gender equality they have to do more,” the Supreme Court bench led by Justice Kaul says was quoted as saying by Live Law.
"I am 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," the court added.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea seeking directions for necessary steps to be taken to allow eligible female candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination and train at NDA.
On August 18, the court had passed an interim order allowing women to appear for the NDA exam scheduled for September 5 and also called out the gender discriminating policy of the Centre. It had ruled that admissions would be subject to its final orders.
The matter is listed after two weeks.
--With PTI inputs
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)