The Central government on Friday agreed to grant permanent commission (PC) to 11 women Army officers who meet the eligibility criteria, after the Supreme Court threatened to initiate contempt proceedings.
The Centre, which was initially reluctant, conveyed its acquiescence to a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud to grant PC to the officers within 10 days.
Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers, who have not approached the court but nonetheless meet the various eligibility criteria, would be granted PC in three weeks, the government informed the court.
In October, the court similarly intervened with the government in favour of granting PC to 39 other SSC women officers .
“We appreciate the fair stand of the Army authority in putting at rest all outstanding issues pertaining to women SSC officers,” the court recorded at the end.
The Bench, also comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna, was hearing a contempt petition filed by the 11 officers, who alleged they were denied PC despite crossing the eligibility threshold.
However, the court clarified that “by way of abundant caution, it is clarified that those officers who have disciplinary and vigilance clearance will be eligible to grant of PC, subject to their meeting of other conditions...”
In August, a little over 72 women officers approached the court, challenging the Army’s decision finding them ineligible for PC. They said they were disqualified despite satisfying the 60% assessment threshold for PC as prescribed by the court in a judgment in March last.
The order had directed the government to grant PC to “Women Short Service Commissions Officers who obtained 60% marks in their assessment subject to their meeting the medical criteria prescribed by the Army’s August 1 2020 order and receiving disciplinary and vigilance clearance.”