Women can go to National Defence Academy, Centre tells SC
The Centre on Wednesday admitted that it was “nudged” by the Supreme Court into agreeing to induct women into the prestigious National Defence Academy for the post of permanent commissioned officers from next year.
The government also informed the apex court that it might not be possible to allow female candidates to appear for this year’s NDA exams in November as the necessary infrastructure was not in place.
Appearing before a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh, additional solicitor-general Aishwarya Bhati admitted that the latest decision was prompted by the Supreme Court’s nudge.
“Your Lordship’s nudge, persuading and pushing us through had made a difference. The decision has been taken at the highest level of the forces and the government last (Tuesday) evening that girls will be inducted for permanent commission through NDA. Please permit us time to place this on record,” Bhati told the court while seeking a short adjournment.
During the earlier round of hearing, the apex court had questioned the logic behind not allowing women officers the status of permanent commissioned officers and entry into the NDA as it amounted to gender discrimination. However, it did not pass any order because the issue was related to the country’s defence forces.
“We were only nudging the authorities to do certain things themselves. We know that they (defence forces) are best suited to evolve such changes. The court steps in only when nothing happens. It is not a very happy situation for us either to intervene in such matter,” Justice Kaul told Bhati.
On Bhati’s request, the court adjourned the matter to September 22 to enable the government file a detailed affidavit.