If women can be Army officers, they can head jails too: Telangana HC | Hyderabad News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: Stating that it is unfair to deny woman deputy superintendents of jails an opportunity to become superintendent, the Telangana high court on Wednesday struck down a rule in the Telangana Jail Service Rules, which is discriminating against woman officers.
Calling it discriminatory, the bench referred to the recent Supreme Court judgment that made it mandatory even for the Indian Army to provide permanent commission for woman officers on par with their male colleagues.
The government order for the AP Jail Service Rules was issued on August 17, 1996, by the combined Andhra Pradesh and the new state of Telangana adopted these later. The rules expressly bar women officers from becoming jail superintendents.
In fact, there is no mention of woman deputy superintendents in the rules and state that deputy superintendents of jails (it means male deputy superintendents) are eligible to vie for becoming jail superintendents through promotion. It did not say anything about deputy superintendents (woman) who were shown as a separate category.
Pay allowances, arrears: Bench
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice A Rajasheker Reddy struck down the government order to the extent of this incompatible rule after hearing a petition filed by T Venkatalakshmi Srinadh, deputy superintendent (woman), Warangal central prison.
Bench directed state to conduct a special departmental promotion committee meet and consider the case of the petitioner for promotion as superintendent. The bench also directed the state and the prisons wing to evolve a scheme to help woman staff get their due. Senior counsel G Vidya Sagar contended that it was unfair to remove from the zone of consideration the name of the petitioner who has all the qualifications and service credentials just because she happened to be a woman officer.
Same authorities had asked her to officiate as in-charge superintendent of women’s prison in Hyderabad. However, she was denied the allowances that come along with such responsibilities because she was not eligible to hold that post, he said. “She has been rendering her service as in-charge superintendent of the women prison for the last two years. But she is not even considered for the regular promotion,” he said.
The bench also directed the prison authorities to pay her allowances and arrears for the two years of service rendered by her.

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