The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed an interim order allowing women candidates to appear for National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance exam scheduled to be held on September 5 (Kush Kalra v. Union of India).
The order was passed by a Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Kush Kalra.
"In view of the impending examination and on hearing learned counsel for parties, we consider it appropriate to issue interim direction permitting the women candidates to take part in the examination scheduled for 05th September, 2021, subject to further orders from this Court," the Court ordered.
The Court also ordered Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to give wide publicity to the order so that people can benefit from the same.
"UPSC is directed to take out the necessary corrigendum in view of the interim orders we have passed today and give it wide publicity so that the intent of the order is translated into benefit at the ground level," the order said.
The Court also said that it would consider another petition seeking entry of female students to Sainik Schools and Rashitrya Indian Military College since the same has direct bearing on admission to NDA.
The Central government informed the Court that process of admitting girls has already started and it will be further expanded.
Regarding Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) is concerned, it was stated that it is a 99 years old institution which will complete 100 years next year.
"The question is whether it completes its 100 years with gender neutrality or not! Since the aforesaid would have a direct relation with admission in NDA programmes, and that is the matter we have kept for consideration on 08th September, 2021, we consider it appropriate to list this matter also on the same date," the Court ordered.
The petition submitted that denying women opportunity to be part of NDA was violative of their fundamentals rights under Articles 14, 15, 16 and 19 o the Constitution.
It violated their right to equality and right to practice profession of their choice.
Senior Advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma along with Advocate-on-Record Mohit Paul and advocate Sunaina Phul appeared for the petitioner.