Supreme Court grants permanent commission to women officers in Navy
The Supreme Court today ordered that both male and female officers should be treated equally while granting permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Navy. The Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said that there cannot be 101 excuses for not granting gender equality in the armed forces and directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to serving women officers in the Navy within three months with increments.
The apex court rejected the Centre’s stand that sea sailing duties cannot be granted to SSC (Short Service Commission) women officers in the Navy because its Russian vessels do not have washrooms for them.
The SC said women can sail with the same efficiency as male officers and there should be no discrimination. It said that denial of permanent commission to SSC women in the Indian Navy who have served the nation would result in a serious miscarriage of justice.
The apex court pointed out that there cannot be gender discrimination in granting permanent commission to women officers in the Navy after the statutory bar was lifted by the Centre to allow entry of women.
“Once the statutory bar was lifted to allow entry of women officers, then male and female officers are to be treated equally in the granting of permanent commission,” the court said.
This judgment follows a verdict by the Apex Court in favor of granting permanent for women in the Indian Army.
A permanent commission entitles an officer to serve in the Navy till he/she retires unlike SSC, which is currently for 10 years and can be extended by four more years, or a total of 14 years.
The apex court in February this year had ruled that the granting permanent will apply to all women officers in the Army in service, irrespective of their years of service.
The Supreme Court had ordered the government to grant permanent commission to women officers in the Army’s non-combat support units on par with their male counterparts should they wish to continue with it after completing their short-service commission.