Delhi HC grants 6 months to Centre for allowing women in CISF posts

The Delhi High Court asked the Centre on Tuesday to introduce within six months provisions with respect to allowing recruitment of women to certain posts of constable, at par with men.

Earlier, the Centre had told the court that it was considering introducing provisions for recruitment of women to these posts.

The Centre’s counsel told a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan that there were no instructions as to when the change would be introduced in the relevant recruitment rules.

The bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna, said the authorities’ stand cannot be vague and asked them to bring the necessary amendments in six months.

“How can you be so vague? Do it in six months,” the court told the Centre as it listed the matter for hearing in July.

In May, the Centre told the high court that a proposal was forwarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) earlier for amending the recruitment rules to make provisions for the recruitment of women to the post of constable/driver and constable/driver-cum-pump operator (driver for fire services) in the force, at par with men.

The court was told similar changes were under consideration for other paramilitary forces and the Centre had sought eight weeks for completing the process of amending the recruitment rules.

The statement was made on a petition alleging “institutional discrimination” against women in recruitment for constables and drivers in the CISF.

Petitioner Kush Kalra approached the court in 2018 after finding out that an advertisement issued by the CISF sought only male candidates for “constable/driver and constable/driver-cum-pump operator for fire services” in the force.

The plea, filed through advocate Charu Wali Khanna, has said the human rights of women are inalienable and an integral and indivisible part of human rights and there is no rationale for not recruiting women to these posts.

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“The respondents (Centre and CISF) are practising institutional discrimination, without any rationale basis, depriving females the right to serve in the aforementioned posts. The State cannot enact any law which is inconsistent with/in derogation of fundamental rights and as a consequence thereof, respondents cannot frame any law/rules/bye laws/regulations for its functioning, which is inconsistent with or in derogation of fundamental rights,” the plea has said.

It has also said such discrimination by the Centre and CISF cannot stand the test of “reasonable basis for treating equals differently” as laid down by the Supreme Court.

Seeking a direction to recruit women to the posts in CISF on par with men, the plea has also sought to know about the steps taken by the force towards gender equality.

“Direct respondents (Centre and CISF) to inform this court as to what steps they have taken towards gender equality in all posts in CISF,” it has said.

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