The Supreme Court said that the submissions of the Centre against it were based on “sex stereotypes”. It has also ruled to grant Permanent Commission within 3 months to all women officers who opt for it. Read to know more.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to grant Permanent Commission to all the women officers in the Army, adding that the officers will be now eligible for command posting.
The apex court has criticized the Central Government for not following the order of Delhi High Court that granted permanent commission to women Army officers. The Supreme Court said that the submissions of the Centre against it were based on “sex stereotypes”. While upholding the Delhi HC order, it further noted that the permanent commission will apply to all the women officers in the Army in the service, irrespective of their years of service.
Justice DY Chandrachud, while citing cases of women’s contributions to the armed forces, said that the contentions of the Centre regarding the issue of physiological limitations and social norms to deny any opportunity to women officers are disturbing and cannot be accepted. It also ruled “absolute exclusion of women from command appointments” and consider them only for staff appointments.
The Supreme Court said, "It is an insult to women as well as the army when aspersions are cast on women, their ability and their achievements in the Army."
In May 2019, the Centre had said that the women Army officers who had completed 14 years of short service commission will be allowed to remain in service till they complete 20 years of service, to be eligible for pensionary benefits. It implied that they will not be granted permanent commission.
In February, women Army officers who had moved the SC for a permanent commission had countered objections raised by the Centre against the command posts in the ten command support arms where they are currently serving. They said that denying them posts will be an “extremely retrograde step” and would also inflict irreparable injury to their dignity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 15, 2018, had announced the decision to grant permanent commission to women officers, who had been selected through short service commission, in the armed forces. In March last year, the defence ministry announced that women officers inducted through short service commission would be considered for permanent commission in 8 more branches.