06 Feb, 2024 11:26 AM

Former Military Nurses Considered 'Ex-Servicemen' For Govt Employment: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Former Military Nurses Considered 'Ex-Servicemen' For Govt Employment: Punjab & Haryana High Court

A former military nursing officer has secured a major victory in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, earning recognition as an "ex-serviceman" and opening doors to government job opportunities.

The court ruling overturned an earlier decision that excluded the officer from the category due to her service in the Military Nursing Service (MNS). This decision effectively barred her from applying for positions reserved for ex-servicemen in the 2020 Punjab State Civil Services Combined Competitive Exam.

Key Points of the Ruling:

  • The court interpreted the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-servicemen Rules, 1982, which define an "ex-serviceman" as someone who received gratuity upon release from service. The officer fulfilled this criterion, despite her specific role in the MNS.
  • The court highlighted her commissioned officer status under the Military Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943, and her service being governed by the Army Act, 1950. These factors confirmed her integration within the regular army structure.
  • The court rejected the state's argument that eligibility for such reservations can be determined solely by the employer. They emphasized the state's independent authority to set its own rules, as evidenced by the 1982 Rules formulated under the Indian Constitution.
  • Importantly, the court clarified that administrative instructions, whether from the state or central government, cannot override established rules in such matters.

Impact of the Ruling:

This ruling sets a precedent for other former MNS officers seeking similar opportunities. It underscores their contributions and ensures their eligibility for benefits reserved for ex-servicemen.

The court's emphasis on established rules also protects job prospects from arbitrary exclusions based on administrative interpretations. This upholds a fair and transparent system for ex-servicemen seeking government employment.

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