Pooja Thakur was given option to extend services under Permanent Commission: IAF

| Updated: Jul 15, 2016 03:06 IST

New Delhi, July 14 (ANI): Wing Commander Pooja Thakur was given the option to extend her services under the Government's policy of Permanent Commission, said Indian Air Force sources on Thursday. Earlier today, officer Thakur moved to the Armed Forces Tribunal after being denied Permanent Commission by the Indian Air Force. The officer said in a petition that the IAF's decision to deny her permanent commission is "biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable". According to the sources, there were 12 women officers in Thakur's batch, out of which 10 opted for Permanent Commission, one of them decided to retire and Thakur opted for the extension for four more years under SSC 5+6+4 scheme. Officers, who serve their initial five years in the force, are given the option to either ask to retire or extend their services for six more years and consequently the same rule is applied for the remaining years. In February 2012, Thakur had decided that she would retire in July 2016, after completing her remaining term. But in July 2015, Thakur asked for premature retirement effective from January 2016 due to personal reasons to which the Indian Air Force agreed. However in December, Thakur again requested the Indian Air Force to withdraw her previous application and let her complete the remaining term. Ten days before her retirement, she filed another application for induction in the Permanent Commission to which the Indian Air Force denied because such provision can only be availed one year before retirement. Officer Thakur joined the administration branch in 2001 through Short Selection Commission (SSC), whereby officers are required to dispose their duties under 5+6 scheme which was later increased 5+6+4 scheme after an amendment in 2003. In 2010, the Delhi High court ruled that the option of Permanent Commission must be extended to women officers as well. "The Armed Forces Tribunal has admitted the matter and has sought IAF's response within 4 weeks," Thakur's Lawyer Sudhanshu Pandey told ANI. Pooja Thakur is the first lady officer to lead the Inter-Service Guard of Honour, which was inspected by US President Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in January 2015.