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The Government said that confining the recruitment for the JAG to unmarried men and women is a reasonable restriction placed in the public interest and national security.
The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that the policy of putting a bar on marriage during the training period of those recruited for the Indian Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) department is a ‘reasonable restriction’ placed in the public interest and in the interest of national security.
The government's stand has come in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Kush Kalra against a notification declaring married men and women as ineligible for recruitment to the post of JAG in the Indian Army.
In an additional affidavit filed in response to the petition challenging the embargo, the Central government stated that the condition of being unmarried for grant of commission to cadets aged 21-27 years is "restricted only for the period of recruitment and pre-commissioned training," which involves a great deal of stress and rigours of military training, and the restriction on marriage before successful commission is in the interest of both the candidates and the organization.
The division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Dutta granted time to the petitioner to file his response to the Centre’s stand and posted the matter for hearing on July 17.
The government further said that since pregnancy and giving birth to a child is considered a natural right for a woman and she cannot be deprived of that, “such precautionary conditions” have been laid down in the interest of women candidates themselves.
“Since pregnancy and giving birth to a child is considered a natural right for a woman and she cannot be deprived of that while formulating the rules such precautionary conditions have been laid down in the interest of women candidates themselves,” the response read.
Regarding male officers, the government stated that the rigours of training and the first few years of duty make it impossible for an officer to get married during training or to meet certain necessities of married life, including emergency situations.
Case Title: Kush Kalra vs. Union of India & Anr.
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