Navy woman officers gets Supreme Court's backing for permanent commission

Navy woman officers gets Supreme Court's backing for permanent commission

Weeks after serving woman officers of the Indian Army got the Supreme Court's backing for permanent commission, now it's the turn of their counterparts in the Navy.

"Once [the] statutory bar was lifted to allow entry of women officers, then male and female officers are to be treated equally in granting permanent commission" said a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court directed that serving woman officers' applications for permanent commission should be considered within three months, based on the availability of vacancies.

The court took note of a 2008 policy introduced by the Center, which allowed permanent commission prospectively to woman officers, but denied it to serving officers.

The Union government had moved the apex court against a September 2015 judgment of the Delhi high court, which held that there was no convincing reason to exclude serving woman officers from consideration for permanent commission.

The Supreme Court rejected the Centre's plea referring to physiological limitations of woman officers in granting permanent commission, saying it was a "case of gender stereotypes".

"To deprive serving women is plainly discriminatory" the bench held, adding that "women can sail with same efficiency as male officers, and there should be no discrimination."