Court seeks answers on permanent service for women army officers


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday questioned the central government over the army’s branches, other than those dealing with education and legal matters, in which women officers could be give permanent commission.

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An apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra questioned the government after it was told that there were several other areas where women officers, who were initially taken on short service commission, could be absorbed on permanent commission.

The court was hearing a matter related to contempt proceedings ordered by the Delhi High Court against the government

The apex court made it clear that it had only stayed the contempt proceedings that were initiated by the high court for non-implementation of its order of extending permanent commission to women officers.

The court said that it had not stayed the operation of the high court’s verdict directing the central government to extend permanent commission to short service commission women officers in non-combatant areas.

The court said this when it was told that more and more women officers were retiring for want of extension.

The court was told that these officers could not be given the benefit of extension of service till the court decided the matter.

The high court had directed extension of permanent commission to women officers serving in various corps in the country’s armed forces.

However, because of a delay in implementation of the high court verdict the army authorities attracted the contempt of court proceedings. This was subsequently stayed by the Supreme Court.

In the course of the earlier hearing of the case, the army gave in and said that it would give permanent commission to women officers in education corps and the legal branch but it did not extend it to other branches.