Women to get permanent commission after SC warns Army

Army agrees to grant permanent Commission to women after SC warns it of contempt

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said the Army has committed contempt of court by not granting permanent commission to women officers

A total of 36 officers were not considered for PC. After a review, 21 out of the 36 officers were granted PC and the case of one is under consideration. Credit: AFP File Photo

Following a stern warning of contempt, the Army on Friday agreed before the Supreme Court to grant permanent commission to 11 women officers within 10 days, in accordance with its judgment, and also to other officers, who haven't approached court but meet the criteria.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna recorded a statement from the law officer in this regard.

"The 11 women officers will be granted permanent commission (PC) within a period of 10 days. The ASG officers, who are not before the Supreme Court in contempt proceedings, but meet the criteria will be granted PC within the period of three weeks," the bench noted.

Also Read: 39 women officers to be granted permanent commission, Centre tells SC

During the hearing, the bench told the Army that the court will hold it guilty of contempt for not granting PC to women officers, in accordance with its order. The Army's counsel had said the decision regarding the remaining women officers will be taken speedily and sought some time to take instructions in the matter.

The bench noted that the Army may be supreme in its authority, but the constitutional court is also supreme.

"We have given you a long rope.... The remarks we had made in the judgement allowing you to file an affidavit on the consideration taken was to ensure that you say what you are doing," the bench said.

In the post lunch hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and senior advocate colonel R Balasubramanian, appearing for the Centre and Ministry of Defence submitted before the top court that the Army is also keen for this matter to achieve finality.

They clarified that those officers, who do not have disciplinary and vigilance proceedings, will also be eligible for grant of PC in accordance with its judgment. Two officers Lt Colonel Akansha Shrivastava and Himalini Pant would also be duly considered for PC, as per the criteria laid down, within one month.

Out of 72 officers, one had applied for premature release, 39 have been granted PC and a letter has been issued on October 29, 2021 in compliance with its verdict.

A total of 36 officers were not considered for PC. After a review, 21 out of the 36 officers were granted PC and the case of one is under consideration. And, out of the remaining 14 officers, three are considered medically unfit.

In March this year, the top court had declared certain terms in the evaluation criteria adopted by the Indian Army for grant of PC to women officers as "arbitrary and irrational".

The top court had held that the evaluation criteria perpetuated gender stereotypes based on patriarchal notions and amounted to "systemic discrimination".

Watch the latest DH Videos here: