Those who are qualified officers and meet the criteria and have not come to court, they will also get permanent commission in three weeks.
New Delhi: Following the Supreme Court’s warning, the Army on Friday agreed to grant permanent commission (PC) to 11 women officers within 10 days as per the court’s decision. Qualified women officers will get this permanent commission i.e. PC within 10 days. Along with this, those who are qualified officers and fulfill the criteria and have not come to court, they will also get permanent commission in three weeks.Also Read – Amazon Vs Future Group: Supreme Court asks Future Group to refrain from selling retail assets to Reliance till further hearing
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and A. s. Bopanna said in his order, “11 women officers will be given PC within a period of 10 days. The ASG (Additional Solicitor General) says that officers, who are not before the Supreme Court in contempt proceedings, but meet the criteria, should also be granted permanent commission within a period of three weeks. Also Read – Why Modi Government Said To Supreme Court, ‘If Army Can’t Take Its Missile Launcher To Indo-China Border Then How Will It Win The War’
Earlier in the day, during the hearing, the bench had told the Army that it would hold it guilty of contempt for not granting permanent commission to women officers as per its order. The army’s counsel had said that the decision regarding the remaining women officers would be taken expeditiously. He had sought some time to issue directions in the matter. Also Read – Pegasus Case: Union Minister Vaishnav said on Pegasus espionage issue – Government will fully cooperate with the committee constituted by Supreme Court
As soon as the bench started passing orders in the matter, the lawyer representing the Army told the court that he was ready to grant permanent commission to the 11 officers going to the top court. The bench said that the army may be supreme in its own right, but the Constitutional Court is also supreme. “The observation we made in the judgment was taken into consideration to allow you to file an affidavit to ensure that you say what you are doing,” the bench said.
In the post-lunch hearing, the bench said that it is clarified that the officers who do not have disciplinary and vigilance proceedings will also be eligible for grant of permanent commission as per its judgment. It further said that two Lt Col Akanksha Srivastava and Himlini Pant should also be duly considered for permanent commission as per the prescribed norms within a month.
On behalf of the Center and the Defense Ministry, ASG Sanjay Jain and senior advocate Col R. Balasubramaniam appeared. He submitted before the top court that the army is also keen to give a final shape to the matter.
The bench said that out of 72 officers had applied for premature release, 39 had applied for PC and a letter dated October 29, 2021 has been issued in compliance with its decision.
A total of 36 officers were not considered for PC. After review, 21 out of 36 officers were given permanent commission and the case of one is under consideration. At the same time, out of the remaining 14 officers, three have been considered medically unfit.
In March this year, the apex court, in a judgment, had termed as “arbitrary and irrational” certain conditions in the evaluation criteria adopted by the Indian Army for grant of permanent commission to women officers.
The top court had held that the evaluation criteria perpetuate gender stereotypes based on patriarchal perceptions and this is a discrimination. The apex court’s decision comes on a batch of petitions filed by women officers challenging the rejection of their applications seeking permanent commission in the Indian Army.