The Supreme Court said in an important decision on Monday that all those women officers who want to opt for this option should be given a permanent commission in the army within three months. The court termed the Centre’s plea as citing physical abilities and social norms behind not giving women command posts. The judgment was delivered by a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud
After this decision of the Supreme Court, now women in the army have got equal rights with male officers. Till now only male soldiers who served in the Army for 14 years in the Short Service Commission (SSC) were getting the option of permanent commission, but women did not have this right. Although, Women officers in the Air Force and Navy are getting a permanent commission.
What really occurred?
in 2003, Babita Punia was the first woman lawyer to petition the Delhi High Court in this case. After that, nine women officers filed separate petitions in the High Court till 2009 on the same issue. In 2010, the Delhi High Court ruled on these petitions and ordered permanent commission of women in the army. The High Court had said, “It is clarified that all those women officers who have not reached the age of retirement should be given permanent commission.” They should also be given benefits like promotions. We are not doing women any favors, we are giving them their constitutional rights. ”
What evoked the situation?
Nine years after the High Court’s decision, in February 2019, the government made a policy of giving permanent commission to women officers in 10 departments of the army but said that only women officers who have been in service since March 2019 will get the benefit. In this way, those women were deprived of permanent commission, who fought a long legal battle on this issue. The Center had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that male soldiers would not be ready to take orders from female officers.
Three most important things about the decision of the Supreme Court which has been made today
Permanent Commission: All women officers under Short Service Commission will be entitled to permanent commission. The Supreme Court has said that women officers who have served less than 14 years and above under the Short Service Commission should be given the chance of permanent commission.
Combat Role: The Supreme Court has left the decision on the government and the army to give Combat Roll to women. The Supreme Court said, ‘Deployment of women in the combat roles directly involved in the war is a matter of policy. The Delhi High Court also said the same. So the government will have to think about it.
Command posting: The Supreme Court has said, ‘It is absurd to completely ban women officers from not giving a command posting in the Army and is against the right to equal. Women should get the right to command posting. Command posting means posting leading a unit, corps or command.
Strict comments of Supreme Court told Center to be preferential and asked to change the mindset
Unique decisions of the Center: The Supreme Court said, ‘The policy decisions of the Central Government regarding the deployment of women officers have been very unique. After the High Court’s decision, the Center should have given permanent commission to women in the army. The Center has shown bias by not giving permanent commission to women officers.
Disturbing arguments: Due to physical limitations and social norms, the Center’s plea of not giving permanent commission to women officers is disturbing. Such pleas cannot be accepted at all.
Need to change mentality: Women officers should be given permanent commission in the Army. In the past, women officers have shown bravery for the country. Even after 70 years of British rule, the government needs to change the mindset to end gender discrimination in the armed forces.
Humiliation of women and the army: Doubting not only the women but also the army, will be an insult to the abilities of women regarding achievements and roles in the army.
The Center did not pay heed to the verdict: In 2010, the Delhi High Court allowed a permanent commission for women officers. 2 September 2011 The Supreme Court also made it clear that the High Court’s decision will not have stayed. Despite this, the Center did not implement it for a decade and did not listen to the decisions of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
Advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, who has pleaded on behalf of women officers in this case, said – this is a brilliant decision of the court. The court has implemented a permanent commission and reprimanded the authorities for not wanting to implement it. Army Lieutenant Colonel Seema Singh said that this is a progressive and historic decision. This will give women a chance to compete.
People on the internet are celebrating the Supreme Court’s verdict on the position of female officers in the army.
Women officers celebrate outside Court after the Supreme Court upheld their right for consideration for the grant of permenant commissions. The Court came down heavily on sex stereotypes and observed that the physiological features of women have no bearing on their entitlements. pic.twitter.com/qqKh0XxyfU
— Karan Gupta (@karanngupta) February 17, 2020