The Delhi high court on Tuesday quashed separate cadre for women in the Central Reserve Police Force up to the rank of inspector coming down heavily on the gender discrimination in the paramilitary force.
The court order set to benefit thousands of female personnel came on petitions filed by women personnel denied seniority on par with male colleagues. Interestingly, husbands of two of the four petitioners who were recruited to the CRPF with them after a test in 2000 were Assistant Commandants while the wives remained Sub inspectors.
The court asked centre to draw a fresh seniority list “irrespective of gender” and consider favourably the plea of petitioners to be promoted to Assitant Commandants.
Terming the separate cadre “unconstitutional” and “violative of right to equality”, Justice Gita Mittal said “it would lead to hostile discrimination. When there is no functional distinction between male and female personnel, it seems the separate cadre was formed only to deny promotional opportunity to women. The centre could not explain the reason for the special classification”.
Rekha Palli, the lawyer for the aggrieved female personnel told the court that CRPF placed women in a separate seniority list up to the rank of inspector and thereafter illegally merged them with the seniority list of male counterparts who though made it to the rank of inspector in the same exam, are granted accelerated promotion.
The court had in March 13, 2010 in a landmark judgment put an end to gender discrimination in defence forces ruling that women officers in Air Force and Army were also entitled to be made permanent commission officers on par with men.