Discrimination and reservation in Judge Advocate General vacancies: Supreme Court says “Issue notice, returnable in four weeks”

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The Supreme Court bench including Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Hrishikesh Roy recently issued notice to the Central Government on a plea related to the discrimination and reservation for male candidates in selection for the Judge Advocate General (JAG) post in the army. The plea addressed here was filed by two lady JAG aspirants who secured fourth and fifth rank among the women candidates but were not able to secure tier name due to quota for men. The petition argued, “The provision/ practice/ criterion of unequal sex-based vacancies vide the above-mentioned notification, not only unabashedly violated the non-discrimination guarantee embodied in Articles 14 and 15(1) of the Constitution, but it also perpetuates and aggravates the persisting attitude and policy of indirect discrimination, showing that the functioning of the Indian Army is rife with sex-based implicit biases”. 

In context with this, the Supreme Court bench ordered to hear the matter after four weeks. The order reads, “Issue notice, returnable in four weeks. Considering the nature of the interim relief, we deem it appropriate to order to keep aside two of the notified vacancies, until the returnable date”. The advocates representing the petitioners include Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Radhika Narula, Jhanvi Dubey, Divya Singh Pundir, Rishabh Lekhi, Tanya Singh, Anushna Satapathy, Devesh Mohan, Chitrangada Singh, Anjali Goyal, and Suvangana Agarwal.