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SC Grants One Month's Time To Implement The Grant of Permanent Commission and Command Posts for Eligible Women Officers in Army

Radhika Roy
7 July 2020 6:55 AM GMT
SC Grants One Months Time To Implement The Grant of Permanent Commission and Command Posts for Eligible Women Officers in Army
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The Supreme Court has granted one Month's time to implement the grant of Permanent Commission and Command Posts for eligible women officers in the Indian Army. 

A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud heard the Application filed by the Centre seeking for an extension of 6 months to implement the judgement that had been delivered by Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi on 17th February 2020.

The 17th February judgment directed that Permanent Commission should be granted to women in the Army, regardless of their service, in all the ten streams where the Union Government had already taken a decision to grant Short Service Commission to women.

The Court had further held that absolute exclusion of women from command assignments is against the tenets of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the policy that women will be given only "staff appointments" was held to be unenforceable.

"An absolute bar on women seeking criteria or command appointments would not comport with the guarantee of equality under Article 14. Implicit in the guarantee of equality is that where the action of the State does differentiate between two classes of persons, it does not differentiate between them in an unreasonable or irrational manner".

It was stated in the judgment that the blanket non-consideration of women for criteria or command appointments absent an individuated justification by the Army and cannot be sustained in law.

The judgement had concluded on the note that the necessary steps for compliance with it should be taken within three months from the date of the judgement. However, the Ministry of Defence submitted to the Bench today that decision-making was at its final stage and that only formal orders were to be issued.

The Bench accordingly accepted the submission that the delay in implementation of the judgment was due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and allowed the Government an extension of one month to comply with its February verdict.

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