Thirty-nine women army officers have been granted permanent commission following a successful legal battle with the government in the Supreme Court. A total of 71 women Short Service Commission officers had moved the apex court after they were denied permanent commission on medical grounds and merit by the government.
The centre informed the court that of the 71 officers, 39 were found eligible for Permanent Commission, seven were medically unfit and 25 had “issues of discipline”.
On October 8, a two-judge bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna had directed the Centre and the Indian Army to come back with orders granting permanent commission to those among the 72 women short service commission officers (WSSCO) who do not have any disciplinary or vigilance cases pending against them. The court further directed the government’s counsel to complete this exercise by October 22.
A Permanent Commission means a career in the army till retirement, while Short Service Commission is for 10 years, with the option of either leaving or opting for Permanent Commission at the end of 10 years.
The SC had restrained the Army from discharging the 72 women officers till further orders and had sought a reply within a week on why they were not considered for the service. The women officers have alleged that the apex court’s 25 March ruling was not considered by the Army and all 72 of them were rejected from consideration for the PC at one go.
The SC in its March order had directed the Army to consider granting PC to the women short service commission officers subject to their obtaining 60% marks in the assessment subjects, being found fit on medical criteria as per the August 1, 2020 order of the Army and having received disciplinary and vigilance clearances.