Supreme Court refuses to vacate order permitting women to appear for NDA examination

The Supreme Court refused to vacate the interim order passed by it to allow women candidates to appear for the National Defence Academy(NDA) examinations that is going to be held on November 14.  

When the top court turned down a prayer made by the Ministry of Defence to exempt induction of women in the NDA, the Ministry said that certain infrastructural and curriculum changes are required for the women’s induction. So, it has sought time till May next year to allow participation of women in NDA entrance.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed that the admission of women cannot be postponed. The bench noted that allowing women to take only the 2022 exams will mean that their admissions to the NDA will take place only in 2023.

Therefore, it cannot postpone the absorption of women by one year, the bench observed, adding، that the armed forces are well-trained to deal with emergencies, and hence they will be able to come up with a faster solution to facilitate the entry of women soon.

Submitting that a study group has been constituted to examine the changes in curriculum, infrastructure, fitness training, accommodation facilities etc can be put in place by May 2022, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati sought for skipping the next NDA entrance examination, scheduled to be held on November 14, from women admission.

The bench said that they have closely read the affidavit filed by the Defence Ministry and fully understood the difficulties expressed by them. Having given hope to the women through the interim order, the bench does not want to let them down.

“We will give you latitude, but don’t ask us to vacate the order. Let us see the results. Let us see how many women will get in. We are not disposing the petition”, the justice Kaul added. 

In the order dictated by the bench, it said, “…we have given a thought to the matter, and the difficulties expressed by the armed services.  What effectively would mean by the submission of armed forces is “No Jam today Jam tomorrow”.

It will be difficult for us to accept that position, the bench said adding that the aspirations of women having been arisen in view of the order, while subject to the final outcome of the petition.

Advocate on Record in the matter, Mohit Paul submitted that the UPSC is yet to issue the corrigendum notification. 

In response, Naresh Kaushik, the UPSC’s counsel told the court that the authority is awaiting certain instructions from the Ministry.

The bench directed the Defence ministry to do the needful in regards to this by collaborating with the UPSC.

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