Reported By: Ankita Bhardwaj
The case of KUSH KALRA v. UOI & ANR has brought forward the interesting notion of barring the entry of married men and women in Judge Advocate General (JAG) claiming it in the benefit of public interest and national security.
A PIL is filed against the policy by Kush Kalra seeking the appointment of candidates aged 21 to 27 years, both male and female, whether married or unmarried, in the JAG department.
Defending the policy, the Central Government has submitted that the prohibition of marriage during the training period before a successful commission is felt to be a reasonable restriction put in the interest of the candidates as well as the organisation. The government further submitted that the condition of being unmarried for both male and female candidates aged between 21 to 27 years for grant of commission is restricted only to the period of recruitment and pre-commissioned training “which involves a high amount of physical and mental stress, strain and rigours of military training.” 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.
Moreover, “Any absence of more than 3 weeks during training leads to the cadets losing a term and being relegated to a junior term and further absence leads to discharge” and married life involves a lot of emergencies.
The matter will now be heard on July 17.