SC orders Centre to resolve the issue of 72 women serving on short service commissions
By: WE Staff | Saturday, 9 October 2021
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Centre to remedy the problem of 72 female short service commission officers who were not considered for Permanent Commission (PC).
The court stated that the PC should be granted in accordance with its order of March 24, 2018, and that it will then dismiss the women officers' contempt action.
According to PTI, a panel of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna instructed Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and senior attorney R Balasubramanian to look into the matter personally.
The panel stated that if women officers receive 60 percent on their exams, pass medical fitness tests, and receive vigilance and disciplinary clearances, they should be considered.
According to Jain, they have filed an affidavit demonstrating that the special selection board considered their actions and declared them unfit.
The bench said, “We have also said that permanent commission will be granted subject to vigilance and disciplinary clearances. We will not compromise if there are no clearances. After all, we are dealing with the Indian Army. We also know the importance of vigilance clearances. We are also soldiers of this country".
The bench also inquired as to whether these 72 cops received 60 percent or not. Jain stated that while they all received 60 percent marks, they were all deemed unfit by the special board, and that medical and surveillance would have followed.
“No, we will not go into it. You yourself look into the issue and try to resolve the issues. If they have got 60 percent marks and medical and vigilance would have come at a later stage, then on what basis a decision was taken. You both (Jain and Balasubramanian) look into it. We are posting the matter for October 22," said the bench.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court ordered the Army not to discharge the 72 female officers until further orders were issued, and it demanded a response within a week as to why they were not accepted for the service.
The women officers claim that the Army failed to consider the Supreme Court's 25 March order and that all 72 of them were excluded from consideration for the PC at the same time.
The SC directed the Army in March to consider issuing PC to women short service commission officers if they received 60 percent in their assessment subjects, were declared fit on medical grounds as per the Army's August 1, 2020 directive, and had gotten disciplinary and vigilance clearances.
On March 25, the Supreme Court ruled that the Army's examination methods for giving permanent commissions to women SSC officers were "systematic discrimination."
The Army's administrative requirement of comparing women officers for permanent commission against the officers with the lowest merit in the matching male batch, according to the apex court, is "arbitrary and unreasonable."