Seven female Army officers have filed a petition with the Supreme Court against the Army for declaring them unfit and thus ineligible for a permanent commission.
In their request. The order has been labelled discriminatory by the female officers.
The seven officers are among the 11 female officers whose careers in the Army will come to an end on September 12. In total, the Indian Army has declared 28 female officers unfit for duty.
The case is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court next week.
One of the female officers who approached the Supreme Court told Asianet News, “Many of us have been in the Army for 20 years, and the criteria that are now used to grant permanent commissions to women officers have been extended twice. The Army has suddenly informed us that we are ineligible for a permanent commission.”
She claimed that 15 of the 28 female officers whose careers are being jeopardized are also medically fit.
In a landmark decision in February 2020, the Supreme Court asked the government to grant permanent commission to female officers. In this regard, a special board for their identification was established.
The board considered 615 female officers for permanent commissions. 424 women officers were given permanent commissions, while the results of 77 were withheld and 28 were declared unfit to continue in the service.
According to a senior Army official, “There is a procedure that must be followed by everyone. It has nothing to do with gender. Not every male officer who joins the Short Service Commission is given a permanent commission. Only 60-65 percent of them are able to pass.”
The Indian Army currently has 43,000 officers, with 1650 women officers accounting for only 3.83 percent of the total.
The Army had only granted permanent commissions in eight of its branches, including the Army Aviation Corps, Signals, Engineers, Electronic and Mechanical Engineers, Army Air Defence, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and Intelligence Corps, while infantry, armoured infantry, and mechanised infantry were excluded.