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Supreme Court orders to grant permanent commission to women officers in Army

The Supreme Court also asked the central government to ‘change its mindset’ towards women's permanent commission in the Army.

Feb 17, 2020 13:01 IST
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The Supreme Court has given a big verdict on the permanent commission of women in the Indian Army on February 17, 2020. The Supreme Court approved the permanent commission to women in the Indian Army. The apex court rejected the Central Government’s opposition to the permanent commission of women.

Only male army officers who have served in the Short Service Commission (SSC) for 14 years are given the option of permanent commission. But now, the Supreme Court has made it clear that women officers will also get the same opportunity in the Indian Army.

Supreme Court’s Order

• The bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi said that the appointment of women officers in the army is an evolutionary process. 
• The Supreme Court also asked the central government to ‘change its mindset’ towards women and their permanent commission in the Army.
•  The Supreme Court rejected the opposition of union government to the permanent commission to women officers. 
• The Ministry of Defence had challenged the Delhi High Court's March 2010 decision in the Supreme Court, which ordered the army to give permanent commissions to all its women officers.
• According to the Supreme Court’s order, the central government will have three months to implement its order.

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Upheld High Court’s order
The Supreme Court mentioned that the High Court has not stayed the order but Centre Government failed to implement High Court’s order. SC said that there is no reason or justification for taking action on the decision of the High Court. As per the information revealed by Bar and Bench, the SC said that exclusion of women from command posting is against the right to equal opportunity in public service (Articles 14 and 16).

SC gives Tania Shergill’s example
Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the central government. SC said that women are equally working in every sphere. The arguments of the Center are disturbing. Women army officers have increased the pride of the country. The Supreme Court gave the example of Captain Tanya Shergill.

Background
In 2019, women army officers were granted permanent commission in all branches of the Indian Army. On the other hand, the central government decided to allow permanent permission to women officers in few branches such as intelligence, signals, ordinance corps, engineers, electronics, army aviation and mechanical engineers. 

The central government also said only women officers should be given permanent commission who joined the Indian Army in 2014. Defence Ministry’s decision had provided several opportunities to women officers to serve for a longer time in the Indian Army. After that, the Indian Army started inducting women officers as jawans in the corps of military police.

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