Women are finally getting their due in the Indian defence forces. After female officers in the army were granted permanent commission by the Supreme Court, a judgment has now come in favour of women in the navy, granting them the same. While allowing permanent commission to women navy officers, the Apex Court has ordered that both males and females serving the country should be treated equally.
The order given by a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, directed the Centre to grant permanent commission within a span of three months from today. Stressing on how women are as efficient as men, the SC ordered that there should be no discrimination between the two genders. The top court also said that the denial of permanent commission to women in the Indian Navy would qualify as an injustice to those who have been serving the nation for years.
"Once the statutory bar was lifted to allow entry of women officers, then male and female officers are to be treated equally in the granting of permanent commission," the court said. The order states that a woman officer will be entitled to serve in the Navy until she retires. On the contrary, the short service commission or the SSC permits service only for a total of 14 years.
The order comes in the wake of appeals filed by the Centre against a September 2015 judgment of Delhi high court. The Centre had held that there was no convincing reason for the exclusion of women officers from consideration for permanent commission.
Kudos to the Supreme Court for taking a stand for gender equality in the Indian navy. We hope this paves the way for more gender-inclusive policy-making in the government as well.
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