A division bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Saurabh Banerjee of the Delhi high court passed the orders after taking cognisance of a petition filed by Dr Gopika Nair from Coimbatore and other affected dentists.
The central government has also been asked to file replies on the contentions raised by the petitioners. The petitioners mainly contended that out of 30 vacancies, the Army had reserved 27 seats for men and only three for the women.
The clearing of national eligibility and entrance test for master’s in dental sciences (NEET-MDS) is a qualifier for applying to the ADC and while men up to the NEET rank of 2,934 have been called for interviews, women up to the rank of 235 were made eligible to attend the interview, the petitioners highlighted.
They further stated that recruitment in the ADC, which was permissible up to the age of 45 years, was gender-neutral till last year, and such recruitment, where rules permit both men and women to join, could not be made amenable to reservation for men, which is impermissible under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
Recent judgments of the Supreme Court, which directed equality in opportunity of employment in the defence services, except combat arms, have also been cited by the petitioners.
Earlier, in a similar matter, the Punjab and Haryana high court had issued notice to the central government after hearing a plea filed by Dr Satbir Kaur, a dental surgeon from Punjab and an applicant for the short service commission in the ADC.
The Punjab and Haryana high court had also made it clear that the final result of the selection into the ADC would be subject to the final outcome of the petition.