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Army's Justice Department Doesn't Hire Married Women Due To 'Peculiarities Of Gender'

Unmarried male candidates are also prohibited from entering into a wedlock during the 10-month training period.

27/09/2016 1:35 PM IST | Updated 27/09/2016 3:11 PM IST
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In a startling statement, the Indian Army said that women were not eligible for recruitment to positions in their Judge Advocate General (JAG) department because "they may later seek maternal leave" which would result in the discontinuation of their "rigorous" training at the Officers' Training Academy (OTA).

According to a report in The Indian Express, the Army presented the statement to the Delhi High Court as an affidavit, which was made in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a law student who wanted the restriction to be struck down.

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.

To justify the policy of not recruiting married women, the army said that both unmarried men and women candidates were prohibited from entering into wedlock during the 10-month training period.

The affidavit also added that as soon as the 10-month training period at the OTA was over, the men and women candidates were "free" to get married.

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 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," the statement 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."

The PIL, filed by one Kush Kalra, stated that because of such "institutionalised
discrimination," married women candidates who were law graduates were being "deprived of their right to serve in JAG department of Indian Army."

(With inputs from PTI)

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