New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for not following Delhi High Court 2010 order granting permanent commission to women Army officers. Reprimanding the government over its Opposition to permanent commission to women officer the top court said this mindset must change as it perpetuates “gender stereotypes”. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Supreme Court Issues Notice to Centre on Plea Seeking Payment of Wages to Migrant Workers
“By not giving permanent commission to women officers, the Centre had prejudiced the case”, the SC stated, adding that the permanent commission will apply to all women officers in the Army in service, irrespective of their years of service. Also Read - Stick to Official Sources, Avoid Misinformation: Supreme Court Tells Media Outlets
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi said that the contentions of Centre, regarding the issue of physiological limitations and social norms to deny an opportunity to women officers is disturbing and can’t be accepted. Furthermore, Justice DY Chandrachud asserted that soldiers must have the physical capability to do one’s role. Also Read - Migrant Exodus: 'Providing Food to 23 Lakh People,' Centre Tells SC; Says 'Fake News' Biggest Challenge
The SC observed that all terms of appointments of women officers shall be same as their male counterparts. “We dispose off the petitions and necessary compliance of this court’s order within a period of 3 months”, the top court added.
Notably, the court was hearing the Centre’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s 2010 ruling granting permanent commission to women officers in Army.
Last year in his Independence Day address, PMModi had announced the decision to grant permanent commission in to women officers who had been selected through short service commission in Army.
In March, the defence ministry announced that women officers inducted through short service commission would be considered for permanent commission in eight branches (i.e. Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanicals Engineers [EME], Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence), in addition to the existing 2 streams of JAG & AEC.