SC allows permanent commission to women officers, says Army's evaluation process 'arbitrary' and 'irrational'
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Permanent Commission of women officers in Indian Army and Navy, ruling that the medical fitness requirement for them is "arbitrary" and "irrational". It also observed that the "structure of the society was msde by the men, for men".
Pronouncing its verdict on a batch of petitions filed by around 80 women officers for permanent commission in Indian Army and Navy, the top court said that women officers must be considered for permanent commission (PC) subject to disciplinary and vigilance clearance.
It, however, agreed that granting permanent commission to women officers will be subject "disciplinary and vigilance clearance."
The court criticised the Army for indirectly discriminating against women short service commission officers to deny them permanent commission. It said even women officers who brought laurels for country in different fields have been ignored for grant of permanent commission.
"A career in the army comes with many trials. It becomes more difficult when the society puts responsibility of childcare and domestic work on women," the court observed.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said that women officers were given symbolic equality and said that shape-1 medical criteria cannot be applied to the women officers 10 years later.
In a 137-page judgment, Justice Chandrachud said the Army’s selective ACR evaluation and belated application of shape-1 criteria was arbitrary and irrational and constituted systemic discrimination against women short service commission officer and amounted to impede grant of PC.
The Supreme Court had, in February last year, directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers in the Army within three months and said there will not be any absolute bar on giving them command postings.
Back then, the bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud rejected the Centre's argument of physiological limitations and social norms for denying them permanent commission and command postings, saying it is disturbing and against the concept of equality.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta