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Home » India » Centre Relents To Give Permanent Commission To Women Army Officers After SC Warns Of Contempt

India

Centre Relents To Give Permanent Commission To Women Army Officers After SC Warns Of Contempt

Representational Image (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Centre said that Army will grant Permanent Commission (PC) to 11 women officers however the Supreme Court on Friday made it abundantly clear that all women Army officers that meet the criteria stipulated in the March judgment in Lt Col Nitisha’s case, must be given a permanent commission within three weeks. The Centre relented after the Apex Court said that it intends to record a finding of contempt against the Army. The SC has given a deadline of 10 days to grant permanent commission to the 11 women officers who had approached the court.

The petition was heard by a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna, which was filed by the 11 female officers who had raised allegations of non-compliance of the SC orders by the Army. The officers said the Army was denying them permanent commission despite fulfilling the eligibility criteria as mentioned by the top court.

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On the other side, ASG Sanjay Jain and Senior Advocate R Balasubramanian were representing the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Army.

The SC reminded the defence that the top court has given directions to award PC in paragraph 120 of the judgement.

In a landmark verdict on Feb 17, 2020, the Supreme Court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted a permanent commission.

On March 25, 2021, SC in its judgment in Lt Col Nitisha’s case, referred to the doctrine of ‘indirect discrimination’ in granting of Permanent Commission of women Army officers.

The judgment said that Army were arbitrary and unjust to women officers who are in the age group of 40-50 years of age and were required to conform to the medical standards that a male officer would have to conform to at the group of 25 to 30 years.

Later on Oct 22, SC had ordered the Centre to grant Permanent Commission to 39 women officers.

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“We are holding the army guilty of contempt. We are putting you on guard and we are recording a finding on this,” said Justice DY Chandrachud, “The Army may be supreme in its authority by this constitutional court is also supreme in its jurisdiction. We gave you a very long rope. The reason we had asked you to submit an affidavit that PC has not been denied to any officer on grounds of any consideration other than what we had said in our judgment was to put on notice.”

As per ANI reports, after SC cautioned Army of contempt, the Centre has assured that it will roll out Permanent Commission option to all eligible women Army officers. The Centre also assured the Apex Court that a ‘swift decision’ will be made within 10 days with regard to 11 women Army officers who approached SC for Permanent Commission.

(With inputs from ANI and LiveLaw)

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