Today, the Army officials have finally assured the Supreme Court of India that it will grant the permanent commission to 11 women, who had earlier filed a petition in the court alleging that their application for the position was rejected despite it fulfilling all the mentioned criteria.
The response from the Army officials came after Supreme Court issued a warning that the army officials will be held guilty of contempt if they failed to abide by the order and that the complaining women officers be taken “at the earliest”. Stating this, the court also directed the Army to finish the process of the grant by November 26th this year.
According to a Times of India report, the court also asked the government to be a “model employer” and should not discriminate among its employees, while adding that monetary benefits should be given to all who were employed at the same time and belong to the same cadre.
The government ensured that a “swift decision” will be taken for the 11 women in 10 days. Last month, the court had directed the Centre to issue grant PC to 39 women and asked the Centre to present the details of 25 officers who were denied the commission with reasons.
The issues were raised by the Women Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs). The women officers had approached the court alleging that the March 25 order of the court, which directed the army to consider granting PC to SSCOs, was not considered and 72 officers were rejected from the consideration for PC.
It was on February 17 2020 that the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to ensure that women officers were given a permanent commission (PC) in the army. In the same order, the court had also announced the officers eligible for commanding positions. In 2020, SC had asked the Centre to make this possible for all women officers within three months of the order announcement.
The Court had rejected Centre’s stand of their “physiological restrictions” and called it out “as being based on sex stereotypes and gender discrimination against women.” This was the Ministry of Defence vs Babita Puniya and others.
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