Married women are not eligible for recruitment in the Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) department due to peculiarity of gender which may not enable them to meet the rigorous training needed, Delhi High Court was informed today.
To justify the policy of not recruiting married women, the army said that both unmarried male and female candidates were prohibited from entering into a wedlock during the 10- month training period.
In its short reply, the Army said that married women “may seek maternity leave which will result in discontinuation of her training” at the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA).
It also said that after the 10 months training period, “it is open to the female candidates to get married.”
“It is therefore submitted that a female married candidate, due to the peculiarities of gender, may not be able to meet with the rigorous training which they may be subjected to during the period of their training at the OTA without sacrificing efficiency,” it said.
“Therefore, restriction on female candidates of marriage at the threshold stage is only to ensure that they are invariably in a physical condition which would enable them to participate in pre-commissioning training, and significantly this restriction applies to male candidates also in the sense that during pre-commissioning training they cannot get married if they were otherwise unmarried,” it said.
The Army was responding to the plea which has sought a direction to the Centre to recruit married women law graduates in JAG department like similarly-placed men.
“The answering respondent respectfully submit that keeping in regard the requirements of probationary service/ training and its nature and the peculiarities, it cannot be said that the rules made therein discriminate against the married female candidates,” it told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.