The MNS was a force essentially raised to serve with only the Indian Military forces (Army). At the time of independence the Navy had only some civilian nurses on contract basis working with them, and the Air Force had none at all. In the early fifties the practice of posting Officers of MNS to Naval and Air Force Units (or hospitals) commenced to fill these vaccum. Let us examine the legality of such postings in the light of (the Indian) Military Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943; (adopted by Adoptations of Laws Order [ALO], 1950).
The Military Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943 became an Act of Parliament through ALO, 1950; hence being a statutory law, it reigns supreme next only to the Constitution it self. The posting of Officers of MNS to Naval and Air Force medical establishments were commenced in good faith, however without suitably ammending the provisions of the parent Act! The Section 3(1) of the Act speaks about raising the MNS "......as part of the armed forces of the union and for service with the (Indian) Military forces an auxiliary force......" - the expression military forces is to be construed as service with the Army. Further, the Section 4(1) of the Act in an unambiguous manner laiddown that, "The members of the Indian Military Nursing Service shall be liable for service only with forces and persons subject to the Army Act, 1950". It is to be noted that the personnel of Navy and Air Force are governed by the Navy Act, 1957 and Air Force Act, 1950 respectively. Hence rules if any, made by the Government to post the officers of MNS to Naval and Air Force units is in contravention of this statutory provision under Military Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943.
It will be interesting to note what happened to the other half of the MNS that went to the Pakistan Army during the partion. Faced with the same necessity of having to post MNS Nurses to the Navy and Air Force, the Pakistan enacted the Armed Forces Nursing Service Act in 1951. It is essentially the Militray Nursing Service Ordinance, 1943 with some minor changes. The name of the force was changed to 'Armed Forces Nursing Service' (AFNS); apart from that the word 'auxiliary force' was removed from Section 3, and added Navy and Air Force Act along with the Army Act in Section 4. So the postings of Nurses to Pakistani Navy and Air Force gained the requisite force of law or legal backing. Subsequently the AFNS was made a Corps of the Army in 1967. With the formation of the Bangladesh in 1971, they had inherited the same set up of Nursing Services and the AFNS occuppies a proud place among the Services (as a Corps) of the Bangladesh Army. - (Link to BD Army Official web site) ................ Click here to read AFNS BD Act.