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Business News/ News / India/  Women's chest measurement criterion during physical exam is dent in dignity, must follow less humiliating options: HC
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Women's chest measurement criterion during physical exam is dent in dignity, must follow less humiliating options: HC

Rajasthan High Court criticizes chest measurement criterion for lung capacity in female candidates' physical exams.

Rajasthan High Court criticizes chest measurement criterion for lung capacity in female candidates' physical exams.Premium
Rajasthan High Court criticizes chest measurement criterion for lung capacity in female candidates' physical exams.

The Rajasthan High Court earlier this month criticised the criterion of chest measurement to assess lung capacity in female candidates' physical exams during recruitment, deeming it arbitrary and a violation of women's dignity and privacy rights under the Constitution. 

The court urged officials to consult experts and explore less humiliating alternatives to gauge lung capacity fairly.

Justice Dinesh Mehta was hearing petition by three female candidates challenging their disqualification on the chest measurement criterion despite the fact that they cleared the Physical Efficiency Test for the post of Forest Guard.

A clear dent on a woman's dignity: Rajasthan High Court

HC said, “some deliberation is necessary about the very requirement of chest measurement for the female candidates, may it be for the recruitment of Forest Guard or Forester or any other post"

The size of the chest and its expansion in the case of a female candidate may not necessarily be a pointer of physical fitness and a litmus test of the lungs' capacity, the judge observed in the August 10 order.

"Even if it be so, such measurement impinges upon or intrudes on the privacy of a female. Apart from being irrational, prescribing such criterion disrupts the dignity, bodily autonomy and mental integrity of a woman", the court stated in its order.

The court observed that the criterion is absolutely arbitrary and outrageous and a clear dent on a woman's dignity and right to privacy guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

However, the court preferred not to intervene in the recruitment process, which had already taken place, but stated

The petitioners have told the court that their measurement was more than required after which the high court sought a report from the medical board of AIIMS.

The High Court dismissed petitions after an AIIMS medical board report revealed insufficient chest measurements in two candidates under "normal condition" and one under "expanded condition." The court upheld the recruiting agency's disqualification decision but voiced concerns over using chest measurements for female candidates.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 17 Aug 2023, 09:15 AM IST
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