Grant permanent commission to navy-women by Dec: SC

SC fixes deadline of Dec 31, 2020 to implement judgement on permanent commission to women naval officers

In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on March 17, 2020 directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers

In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers. Credit: PTI/ Representative photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday set a new deadline of December 31, 2020 for the Union government to grant permanent commission to eligible women Navy officers.

A bench presided over by Justice D Y Chandrachud granted more time to the Union government to comprehensively implement the top court's judgement of March 17, this year.

The court passed its order on a contempt petition filed by five women Navy officers, alleging non-implementation of the verdict.

The bench also asked the Centre to provide Rs 25 lakh compensation in four weeks to five Naval women officers, who were not considered for the permanent commission in addition to pensionary benefits. The bench extended the time for grant of permanent commission for Short Service Commission women officers in the Navy till December 31. 

In its March 17 verdict, the court allowed permanent commission to serving women officers in Indian Navy, saying that there cannot be gender discrimination with women officers in Navy after the statutory bar was lifted by Centre to allow their entry in the force. 

"Women officers have worked shoulder to shoulder with their men counterparts in every walk of service. The contention that certain sea-going duties are ill-suited to women officers is premised on sex stereotypes that male officers are more suited to certain duties by virtue of the physiological characteristics," it said. 

In June, the Centre filed an application in the top court for extension of the deadline by six months in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.