The Supreme Court Monday expressed happiness that the Centre has implemented its verdict to consider granting permanent commission to women officers in the Army, saying, “it is the victory of our nation that women aspire to achieve the highest pedestal.”
The top court, in its landmark verdict delivered on February 17, had asked the Centre to consider, all serving Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers for permanent commission irrespective of them having crossed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service.
The observations came from a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee during the hearing of an another case being represented by senior advocate R Balasubramanian who happened to be a lawyer for the Centre in the matter related to grant of permanent commission to women officers.
Balasubramanian said the judgement has been implemented and nearly 70 per cent women officers have received the permanent commission.
Justice Chandrachud, who had authored the February 17 verdict, said. “It is the victory of our nation that women aspire to achieve the highest pedestal.”
“It is a great feeling even for us as judges”, the judge said, adding that nearly 450 women officers have got the permanent commission.
Permanent commission has been granted to Short Service Commissioned officers in all the ten streams of the Indian Army including Army Air Defense (AAD), Signals, Engineers and Army Aviation.
The top court, in its judgement, had also said that as a one-time measure, the benefit of continuing in service until the attainment of 20 years pensionable service shall also apply to all the existing SSC officers with more than fourteen years of services.
It had held that the option of grant of permanent commission shall be given to all women SSC officers and if those with more than 14 years of service do not opt for it then they will be entitled to continue in service until they attain 20 years of pensionable services.
While granting permanent commission to women officers in Army, it had rejected the Centre’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on “sex stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”.
The top court had accepted the Centre’s policy of February 25, 2019 to grant permanent commission to SSC women officers in all the 10 streams in the Indian Army.
The top court had said SSC women officers with over 20 years of service who are not granted PC shall retire on pension in terms of policy decision.
It had noted that Indian Army has sanctioned 50,266 posts for officers, while the posts currently occupied are 40,825 including 1,653 by women officers.
It had noted that there is a shortage of 9,441 officers in the Indian Army.