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The Delhi High Court yesterday issued notice to the Union Defence Ministry in a plea by the Indian Professional Nurses Association, challenging the exclusion of male nurses under the Indian Military Nursing Service Ordinance and the Military Nurses Services (India) Rules.
The petition, filed through Advocates Amit George and Rishabh Dheer, states that the impugned Ordinance and the Rules are violative of Article 14 of the Constitution inasmuch as they are palpably arbitrary, unreasonable and violate the mandate of equality.
It is further stated that,
“In contrast to the stereotypical view of nursing being a women-only profession, there are at present several thousand males who have trained and qualified as professional nurses in India.
Not only is their omission in terms of the Ordinance and the Rules unjustifiable and unconstitutional inasmuch it deprives them of an avenue of employment and professional advancement, the said omission also deprives the military and the nation of a large pool of committed professionals.”
It is also submitted that the eligibility criteria, as well as the other provisions in the Ordinance and the Rules, are not founded on any intelligible differentia and bear no rational nexus to the objects sought to be achieved, thereby violating the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Ministry of Defence and asked as to how such outdated provisions have still not been repealed.