The Centre has said that it will issue Permanent Commission to 11 more officers who had approached the court, within 10 days. The Supreme Court in a ruling today directed the Centre to grant Permanent Commission within 3 weeks to all those officers who are yet to approach the court but meet the eligibility criteria.
The Centre has relented after the Supreme Court warned that it will hold the Army guilty of contempt of Court.
On October 22, the SC had directed the Centre to issue Permanent Commission to 39 women officers.
“We will hold the Army guilty of Contempt. I am putting you on guard,” Justice DY Chandrachud had warned. “Army may be supreme in its own authority but the constitutional court of the country is supreme in its own jurisdiction,” he added.
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. If an officer doesn’t get Permanent Commission then, the officer can choose a four-year extension.
A total of 71 women Short Service Commission officers, who were denied Permanent Commission, had gone to the Supreme Court seeking Permanent Commission in August this year seeking contempt proceedings against the Ministry of Defence for not complying with the Court’s March 2021 judgment in which the Indian Army was directed to “positively grant permanent commission to all Women Short Service Commission Officers (WSSCO) who fulfilled the prescribed criteria”. The court had given the government three months to complete this exercise.
The army’s evaluation criteria for granting Permanent Commission to women officers were “systematically discriminated against them”, the Supreme Court had said at the time.
All women officers who obtained 60 per cent marks in their assessment are eligible to Permanent Commission, subject to their meeting the medical criteria prescribed by the army’s August 1, 2020 order and receiving disciplinary and vigilance clearance.