39 women army officers get PC: battle won, war not over, say women officers to The Probe - latest News of India Today

39 women army officers get PC: battle won, war not over, say women officers to The Probe

The Supreme Court ordered the Centre to grant Permanent Commission (PC) to 39 women army officers and directed the government to enumerate reasons as to why 25 women officers have been denied PC
First Published: Oct 22,2021 09:22PM
by Utkarsh Chaturvedi, Mohammed Sadique

The Supreme Court today ordered the Centre to grant Permanent Commission (PC) to 39 women army officers. This was after the Centre informed the Apex Court that PC can be granted to 39 women army officers.

Speaking to The Probe – on condition of anonymity – a serving woman army officer whose petition was decided upon today by the Apex Court said: “We have won the battle but not the war. We still don’t know on what basis we have been evaluated for rejection or for grant of Permanent Commission. We still don’t know the yardstick adopted by the army. This is a systematic form of discrimination to strip us off our rights.”

The Centre’s representatives, ASG Sanjay Jain and Senior Counsel R Balasubramaniam said: “A comprehensive exercise has been carried out once again to redetermine the entitlement of a total of 72 Women Short Service Commissioned Officers.” They went on to say that out of the 72 officers, 39 officers could be granted Permanent Commission, 1 officer had applied for release, 7 officers have been declared medically unfit and 25 officers have been denied PC.

The Court in its order stated that the 39 officers should be granted PC before November 1. The Apex Court also asked the Centre to give reasons as to why 25 women officers were being denied Permanent Commission. In an important move the court noted: “There is a final judgment and order of this court dated 25 March 2021. The consideration for the grant of PC has to be confined to the specific directions issued by this Court and not on any grounds independent of the direction.”

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will step in and the 25 women officers whose PC has been rejected will also get PC in the next hearing,” said another woman army officer speaking to The Probe. Advocate Gaichangpou who represented the women officers said: “before the next date of hearing, the Centre has been asked to file an affidavit by the Court enumerating the reasons on why PC has been denied to 25 women officers. After the Centre files its reply, we will argue on the merits of the case and we are very hopeful that the SC will finally deliver us justice”.

The women petitioners – who spoke to The Probe – said that they are distressed by the delays in the case. “It is extremely disheartening and humiliating for us to constantly keep validating our professional merits before the government. The money and the resources needed to fight these court battles is another matter of stress altogether,” said another woman army officer on condition of anonymity.

The matter has been listed for hearing on November 12.

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