The presence of female staff in the police, given the crime against women, is the overriding need of the hour, said the Supreme Court in a recent judgment.
A bench led by judges S.K. Kaul and Krishna Murari said that every effort should be made to ensure greater representation of women in the police force.
"The presence of women in the police, given the crime committed against women, is a primary need. We therefore believe that every effort should be made to increase women's representation in the police service, "said the Supreme Court on 27 September.
The order was placed as part of an appeal by Khusbu Sharma, a candidate for the Bihar Police IS position. The respondent was the Subordinate Service Commission of the Bihar Police.
Ms. Sharma, who had passed the preliminary and major written exams, wrote to the Board in 2018 to postpone the date of the physical examination because she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. After verification, the Supreme Court ruled that 73 other women candidates had written to the Commission with identical plea to postpone the physical examination that was to take place in September of last year. The court heard that the Commission thought it best not to answer any of these candidates.
The Patna High Court upheld the women's plea but a court of the Court, seized of an appeal filed by the Commission, dismissed their claim in March 2019. Subsequently, Ms. Sharma addressed herself in the high court.
When hearing appeals, the Superior Court ruled that it was after much insistence from the Supreme Court that the Commission had finally published in 2017 the advertisement regarding vacancies within the state police.
The judges stated that the Commission had not carried out the tests in accordance with the original schedule and that women candidates were not to blame. The court ordered that the physical test and other processes be completed within two months and allowed the aspiring women to participate.
"It's not like there's a quota set for women candidates, but they compete against male candidates. They have been successful in obtaining higher merit, "said the Supreme Court.