Wing commander drags IAF to court

Wing commander drags IAF to court

Wing commander drags IAF to court

An Indian Air Force woman officer, who led the Guard of Honour for US President Barack Obama last year, has dragged the IAF to court, asking the service to 'reconsider' her application for permanent commission.

Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Pooja Thakur opted against permanent commission five years ago, but changed her mind 10 days before her retirement, sources told DH.

When she approached the IAF in the first week of June, the Air headquarters told her it was a little late in the day to consider her for permanent commission as she was due to retire on June 16. On Thursday, she approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) seeking reconsideration of her case.

In her petition, she also asked the AFT to review the IAF’s Human Resource Policy-3 of 2011 that lays the rules for granting permanent commission for ground duty branch officers, who were taken through the short service commission (SSC).

Commissioned on June 16, 2001, Thakur decided against a permanent commission when her time came in 2011 and preferred to continue for another four years in the SSC cadre.

Out of  the 12 women officers from her batch, as many as ten opted for permanent commission, while two decided otherwise. As the IAF policy does not allow reconsideration, she was to be relieved from the service on June 16, which has now been challenged in the court.

The AFT has stayed her relieving order and asked the Air headquarters to respond in four weeks.

Thakur hit the headlines in January last year when she became the first woman officer to lead a tri-services Guard of Honour for the visiting US President in a military ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Daughter of a retired Army Colonel, she hails from Rajasthan.

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