New Delhi [India], September 1 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to file a response on the petition by 8 women applicants for the Territorial Army (TA) seeking to publish the final merit list of Preliminary Interview Board for Territorial Army Commission- 2019.
A Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla asked Centre, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Additional Director General (ADG) Recruiting, and Additional Director General Territorial Army and listed the matter for December.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by eight women including Malika Dawer through Advocate Kartik Yadav. The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose.
The petitioner has alleged that despite opening up selection in 2019 to women applicants in terms, to date final merit list of Preliminary Interview Board for Territorial Army Commission -2019 has not been published.
The petitioner has sought to publish the final merit list and pass a direction to the respondents directing them to issue a joining letter to the petitioners for the grant of commission to Territorial Army Officer.
The petitioner also sought to pass an order for a detailed inquiry by Judicial Intervention into the matter considering the gravity of the matter being unjust and unfair and to pass an order to put a restraint on the commissioned candidates from continuing the services.
The plea also sought to pass an order to stay the whole procedure of TA-2019 and
similar entries until the issue is resolved as a whole.
The petitioner said that they have preferred the plea against the unjust, unreasonable arbitrary, and discriminatory actions of the Respondents whereby the Respondents have selected candidates for grant of commission as Territorial Army Officers (Non-Departmental) in Preliminary Interview Board for Territorial Army Commission- 2019 (the 'TA-2019') without publication of the final result in a mechanical manner.
The Respondents have proceeded illegally to issue joining instructions without the application of mind and admit some of the candidates being ignorant of the fact that the final result was still not published officially nor the candidates were informed about their results, the plea said adding that the result has not been released yet.
"In fact, the respondents were so reluctant to respond to the queries raised by the petitioners by the way of representations that they forgot that they are the public appointing authority who had to complete the task without leaving an iota of doubt. Instead, the respondents replied with information that was creating further ambiguity and anxiousness in the minds of the petitioners stating that there are limited vacancies, however, as per the previous conduct and practice, all the medically fit recommended candidates were called to join the Services, " the plea said.
The plea also apprised the Court that as per the information gathered, the only female the candidate selected who was issued the orders to join the Territorial Army through TA-2019 was admitted to the Railways Engineers Unit being the Departmental Unit of Territorial Army whereas the notification was only for the Territorial Army Officers (Non-Departmental).
"It is pertinent to mention here that the female candidates have been invited to join Territorial Army for the first time in the history through TA-2019 after this very Hon'ble Court's judgment in Kush Kalra v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 6439, wherein the restriction on enrollment of women was removed and it was held to be unreasonable and irrational and it was declared that 'any person mentioned in section 6 of the Territorial Army Act, 1948 included both males as well as females, " the plea said.
The petitioner said that the Prima-facie, taking the facts and circumstances into consideration, it seems to be a case of conspiracy and gender-biased selection wherein the female candidates have been restricted intentionally to disrespect and discourage the female candidates to join the Services.
Therefore, the eight women have urged to consider the petitioners' representations regarding the publication of result/final merit list and subsequently direct the Respondents to admit/select the Petitioners/candidates as per the final merit list hereby prepared as per law, rules, and regulations. (ANI)