Three Women Officers Complain That The Criteria For Granting PC To Women Is Discriminatory. SC Agrees.
Most of us, when we think about our future, would like to foresee a life of honest work, several promotions, proud achievements and then probably, having a retirement plan kicking in by the age of 60, after which we can make more memories, embark on newer adventures, all the while reminiscing the good old days of the past. And retirement is non-discrimnatory, except for several female officers who have recently complained about the policy of the Army in granting them permanent commission as discriminatory.
Three women lieutenant colonels, namely senior advocate Meenakshi Arora recently presented before a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Ok M Joseph, that the evaluation process for granting them a permanent commission in the Army was, in fact, discriminatory. Mentioning how even after the apex court directing a procedure, since the protocol is not being followed, they felt the issue had to be taken up again.
They shared that the procedure is, “is nothing but a reproduction of existing procedure for gentlemen officers who are evaluated for similar benefits in their fifth and 10 year of service.” They further claimed that while they had served in the Army for nearly 20 years, the evaluation was being done based on criteria that was set up for male SSC officers who have served for 5-10 years.
Also Read : #Trending: Five Months After The SC Ruling, Government Issues Order For Permanent Commission Of Women Officers In The Indian Army. It’s A Reality Now
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The Supreme Court, that has advised them to follow up with a writ petition so that their grievances can be considered. The court said so because the judgement made on February 17th to grant PC to women short service commission officers in ten streams couldn’t be just overruled.
However, lending a sympathetic ear, Justice Chandrachud said, “Women, by the age of 50 years, undergo several biological and hormonal changes and it would be unfair to expect physical fitness levels equivalent to men in the 25-30 years age group”. And that was something that really needed to be considered, because it was a reflection of truth after all.
The rule that had allowed for permanent commission to be granted to women officers in Indian Army, came on February 17, 2020 and made for a landmark move. With the order, the SC had ensured to say that, “To cast aspersion on their abilities on the ground of gender is an affront not only to their dignity as women but to the dignity of the members of the Indian Army men and women who serve as equal citizens in a common mission.” Now, let’s just hope that the current dilemma of women officers’ woes is paid heed to with their writ petition.