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SC directs Army to consider granting permanent commission to women officers

ANI | Updated: Mar 25, 2021 15:13 IST

New Delhi [India], Mach 25 (ANI): The Supreme Court directed on Thursday directed the Army to consider the grant of the permanent commission for women officers within a month and allow the permanent commission within 2 months after following the due process.
A bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Dr DY Chandrachud passed the judgment on hearing a batch of petitions filed by many women officers for permanent Commission in the Indian Army, seeking a direction that contempt proceedings be initiated against those who had allegedly failed in their duty to comply with the earlier judgments of the apex court.
While delving into many issues, including medical criteria, Justice Chandrachud said that the fundamental postulate in submissions of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) is that evaluation of competitive merit is necessary.
Benchmarking in submissions became necessary to place them on par with males, the Bench pointed out.
The Supreme Court said that the fundamental fallacy in this submission is that the clear intent of the policy letter is that issue of applying competitive merit applies to 250 officers fulfil this criterion.
"If it is less than 250 then there is no need to meet this criterion," the apex court said.
While pronouncing the judgment, Justice Chandrachud, said: "It is a long judgment spanning of hundred's pages. We have dealt with the issue of ACR evaluation and then with the medical criteria."
Justice Chandrachud said that the qualification and achievement of women officers after the 5th and 10th year has been ignored.

The Bench said that the statistics which have been advanced by Army authorities mainly disclose two things.
"The 250 ceilings have not been crossed till 2010. The statistics which have been placed on record completely demolish the case of Benchmarking. Physical fitness is crucial for securing a position in the army. The court does not find merits in the submissions of ASG," Justice Chandrachud asserted.
"The structure of our society is for male for males and appeared to be harmless," the apex court said.
Justice Chandrachud said that physical fitness is crucial for the Army.
"When judicial review is considered Court has to be circumspect to intervene. There can be no judicial review of standards adopted by the army. A career in the army carries a lot of turbulence from being posted at various places ranging from terrain places to others," the apex court said.
"The Army career has trials and tribulations and this becomes more difficult when society gives the responsibility for child care and domestic work on women too. Women do not come to us for charity. The selective evaluation and implementation of Babita Punia judgment creates systemic discrimination. This creates economic and physiological harm. Thus, we allow the petitions in the case", it said.
Administrative requirements imposed on the army by equating these women with males with the lowest rank is arbitrary, the Apex Court said.
They will be considered for permanent commission subject to disciplinary and vigilance clearance, the top court said in its judgement.
The writ petitions are accordingly disposed of, Justice Chandrachud said and made it clear that the above directions be complied with. (ANI)