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The high court drew an analogy between women posted at Siachen when Indian Professional Nurses Association approached the High Court, challenging the rules which provide that only women can join the Military Nursing Service
The Delhi High Court has recently questioned the justification for prohibiting employment of men as nurses in the Indian Army.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula questioned why men couldn't be hired as Army nurses when women could be placed to Siachen, the world's highest battleground.
Additional Solicitor General, Aishwarya Bhati, informed the court that the Union Government has submitted its written statement in the matter.
The Court raised the said query in a petition challenging the Military Nursing Service Ordinance 1943 and the Military Nursing Service (India) Rules 1944, to the extent they provide that only women can be appointed in the Indian Military Nursing Service.
Advocate Amit George for petitioners, submitted that the rule prohibiting men from nursing service was a colonial idea and founded on Florence Nightingale's ideal of what a nurse ought to be.
The Indian Professional Nurses Association approached the High Court in 2018 challenging the rules which provide that only women can join the Military Nursing Service.
“That this discrimination in the Ordinance and the Rules is palpably contrary to the Constitutional scheme and is, therefore, ex-facie unconstitutional, illegal and arbitrary. Gender equality under the impugned Ordinance and the Rules has remained an elusive Constitutional goal that the Legislature, since the inception of the impugned Ordinance and the Rules, has dispassionately ignored,” the plea moved by the association reads.
The matter is listed in November next.
Case Title: Indian Professional Nurses Association v. Union of India
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