Centre too against HC ruling

The government in its appeal against the March 12 verdict of the High Court, filed a day after its single bench issued contempt notice to the Army chief and Defence Ministry for not complying with its direction, has sought stay and review of the decision.

A two-judge bench of the high court in its judgement said, “The Short Service Commissioned (SSC) women officers of the Air Force who had opted for permanent commission (PC) and were not granted PC but granted extension of SSCs and of the army are entitled to PC at par with male Short Service Commissioned officers with all consequential benefits.’’

The implication of the judgment is that woman officers would be in two wings of our armed forces till they attain their retirement age of 60 and might rise to the top echelons.

“The claim of women to the right to serve in the armed forces has been and is a matter of debate in various countries. The denial of such right is pleaded to be a case of gender discrimination,’’ said the 32-page judgment.

“We have filed the appeal against the high court judgment and have sought stay of its operation,” said government advocate Anil Katiyar.

The high court had rejected the plea of the government that permanent commission can be allowed only for future recruitment and the benefit cannot be given retrospectively for the serving and retired lady officers who had approached the court.

The Air Force has complied with the high court order while no officer from the Navy has approached the court.

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