The Indian Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi High Court's judgement of granting permanent commission to women officers in the Army.
The arguments of the Centre raising the issue of physiological limitations and social norms to deny opportunity to women officers is disturbing and cannot be accepted as women officers have performed exceptionally well and brought laurels, stated the top court of the country.
"Women in the Army is an evolutionary process," said Justice DY Chandrachud.
The Supreme Court directed the government to grant permanent commission to women officers who have already worked as short service commission officers in the Indian Army, insisting that it would go a long way in eradicating gender stereotypes prevalent in society.
What is important to note is that the issue of women in combat units is not before the court. Only permanent service commission for women already in short service commission in non-combat support units such as education, law and logistics etc has been allowed. The court is also dealing with a similar plea with regard to short service commission officers in the Indian Navy.
The Delhi High Court had in 2010 ordered the government to provide them permanent commission but the government has been dragging on the issue.
The SC noted that the absolute bar on granting command posting to women officers in Army is irrational and against equality. It is indefensible to deny command posting, and a blanket ban on command posting for women cannot be sustained in law.
On Centre's appeal challenging the Delhi High Court' ruling in 2010, for granting permanent commission to women officers in Army, the Supreme Court says that the permanent commission will apply to all women officers in the Army in service, irrespective of their years of service.
The Court has granted three months' time to the Centre to implement its order.