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39 Women Army Officers Get Permanent Commission, SC Asks for Details on Others

The SC asked the Centre for more details on the cases of 25 women officers and reasons for not giving PC.

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In a major win for 39 women army officers, the Supreme Court asked the central government to issue orders for giving permanent commission to them and asked for greater details on why 25 officers were not being granted with the same.

In a case before the bench, 72 Women Short Service Commission Officers (WSSCO) had moved the court on denial of permanent commission in the army. One of them, the government stated, had asked for release from service.

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While Short Service Commission is for 10 years, PC means a career till retirement. A SSCO can ask for a PC at the end of the 10 years, which if not granted, the officer can leave or ask for a four-year extension.

The order came after the Centre listed indiscipline and medical issues for not granting permanent commission to these 25 women. The Centre on Friday, 22 October, told the Supreme Court that it had agreed 39 women army officers should be granted permanent commission (PC).

Before the bench presided over by Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna, the central government submitted that it has reconsidered the cases of the 71 women. While they observed 39 to be eligible for PC, seven were stated to be medically unfit and 25 having discipline issues.

The court has asked the government to clarify by providing detail reasoning for the 25 officers being denied PC based on "discipline issues".

In the previous hearing on 1 October, the court had given the Centre, a "last opportunity" to resolve the issue of granting PC to the 72 women.

The Women Officers' lawyers V Mohana, Huzefa Ahmadi and Meenakshi Arora had claimed that the disqualification was against the Supreme Court's judgment in March, where the court directed the Indian Army to grant PC to all Short Service Commission Officers who meet the criteria, the NDTV reported.

ASG Sanjay Jain and Senior Advocate R Balasubramanian, on behalf of the central government, stated that the government has revisited the cases and out of the 71, only 39 are eligible for a PC.

The court reiterated that all grants of PC should be with its order dated 25 March and thereafter it will close the contempt case filed by the women officers, India Today reported.

(With inputs from India Today and NDTV)

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