The Legal Tenability of Women’s Exclusion from Combat Arms in the Indian Army

  • Niharika Gupta
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  • Niharika Gupta

    Student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India

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This paper does a thorough analysis of the constitutional legitimacy and legal tenability of women's continued exclusion from the combat arms in the Indian Army, and attempts to predict the court's ruling in a likely scenario where a petition may be filed before the Supreme Court to direct the Union Government and the Indian Army to start inducting women in combat posts, especially motivated by the recent development of Permanent Commission. The goal of the paper is to close the generational gap by balancing traditional and contemporary methods and understanding the motivating factors behind each. It next analyses the difficulty presented by Article 33 and investigates further pertinent judicial precedents, regulations, reports, international treaties, and case studies in order to get a thorough understanding and strengthen the case for the hypothetical petition. Following that, the paper outlines the theoretical underpinnings of direct, indirect, and systemic discrimination, surveys comparative jurisprudence regarding the doctrines, and lays out the final road map for operationalizing indirect discrimination in Indian antidiscrimination law with references to the standards defined in the Lt. Col. Nitisha case. Lastly, the paper analyses the criteria necessary for applying the concepts of direct and indirect discrimination in order to demonstrate that the exclusion of women from Indian combat arms constitutes systematic discrimination within the Indian Army.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 1527 - 1548


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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