SC to pronounce judgment on permanent commission for women in Navy

Aishwarya Bhati, counsel for women officers seeking permanent commission in navy, contended before the court that her client's application was rejected because she was prior to the policy, but the applications of her male colleagues were accepted

The Supreme Court will deliver judgment on permanent commission for women officers in the navy on Tuesday. It follows a verdict by the apex court in favour of permanent commission for women officer in the army.

The Bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, will deliver the judgement at 10.30 a.m. The women officers had contended in the apex court that the gender-based classification was always justified by governments across the world with inane explanations, and they would do anything to justify their discriminatory behaviour.

Aishwarya Bhati, counsel for women officers seeking permanent commission in navy, said her client's case was similar to the one propounded by the Babita Puniya judgement, where the apex court directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers in three months.

The petitioner was commissioned in the navy on August 6, 2007 in the JAG branch and is the only SSC JAG branch officer.

"Both the navy as well as the army wanted to apply the policy of grant of permanent commission prospectively, excluding the serving women officers," Bhati said.

She contended before the court that her client's application was rejected because she was prior to the policy, but the applications of her male colleagues were accepted.

Bhati said inherent discrimination was prevalent in the working of administrations and supported justifications offered to prevent women from attaining permanent commission, seniority in cases of national security, and reduction of number for direct recruitment.

The lawyer said slightly different shade of reasons given to deny the benefit of policy of permanent commission to serving women officers of the navy bear an uncanny resemblance to the issues of mindset and stereotypes, in the case of the women officers of the army.

"These misconceived reasons are being masqueraded as organisational issues to scuttle and deny the right of rationality, equality and equal opportunities and deserve to be rejected completely and outrightly, in the same manner," she told the court.

 



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