Army to give permanent commission to women in two months (Second Lead)

August 2nd, 2010 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The government Monday told the Supreme Court that it would consider giving permanent commission within two months to women serving as short service commission officers in the legal and education branches of the Indian Army.
However, the absorption of women as permanent commission officers would be subject to “requirement” and after necessary training, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said in an undertaking on behalf of the defence ministry, recorded by the court.

An apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra was also told that the extension of permanent commission to the women officer serving in the legal and education branches would be extended to the existing officers serving in the category of short service commission.

After recording the undertaking by Subramanium, the court restrained the contempt proceedings against the defence ministry arising out of a Delhi High Court verdict directing the grant of permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

The solicitor general told the court that the government was inclined to consider granting permanent commission to women officers but it would only be applicable to future appointments.

When the court asked why the same could not be extended to the existing officers, Subramanium told the court that even this could be considered.

At this, Justice Panchal told the solicitor general: “Give the benefit (of permanent commission) and then we (court) will examine it (petition)”.

At the very outset of the hearing, Justice Misra asked: “If you can’t give permanent commission then why you take them under the short service commission?”

Justice Misra further asked if women officers were eligible for short service commission then how they become ineligible for permanent commission.

Subramanium told the court that there was a different set of training for permanent commissioned officers and short service commission officers. He said that their “duties are quite different”.

He told the court that it were the permanent commission officers who command the force during the battle and not the officers belonging to short service commission, who are never used in a combat role.

At this, the court asked the solicitor general to file an affidavit giving details of the nature of duties given to permanent commission officer.

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