Centre has told the Delhi High Court it is considering introducing provisions for recruitment of females to the post of Constable/ Driver and Constable/Driver-cum-Pump Operator (Driver for Fire Services) in CISF at par with males. A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma was also informed that similar changes are under consideration for other paramilitary organisations.

The central government sought eight weeks’ time for completing the process of amending the recruitment rules.

The statement was made by the central government counsel on a petition alleging “institutional discrimination” against women in recruitment of constables and drivers in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

“Learned CGSC (central government standing counsel) has informed this court that a proposal has already been forwarded by CISF on 23.03.2023 for amending the Recruitment Rules in order to make provision for recruitment of women/ females for the post of Constable/ Driver and Constable/Driver-cum-Pump Operator (Driver for Fire Services) in CISF at par with males,” recorded the bench, which also comprised Justice Subramonium Prasad, in its order dated May 9.

“It is also informed by him that similar amendments are being made in respect of Recruitment Rules governing the other Para-Military Organisations,” it noted.

The court took the Centre’s stand on record and listed the matter for further consideration on August 29.

Petitioner Kush Kalra had approached the high court in 2018 after finding that an advertisement issued by CISF invited applications from only male candidates for the posts of 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 were inalienable and an integral and indivisible part of human rights and there was no rationale for not recruiting women to the posts.

“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 said.

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

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

“Direct respondents (Centre and CISF) to inform this Court as to what steps it has taken towards Gender Equality in all posts in CISF,” plea said.