Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Permanent Commission For Women In The Indian Navy

“They can sail with same efficiency as male officers,” ruled the Supreme Court in a judgment allowing the permanent commission for women in the Indian Navy on Tuesday. The Supreme Court further instructed the central goverement to implement the permanent commission for women within three months.

In a nutshell, the decision shatters gender inequality in the Navy that limits women serving period in the Navy to the Short Service Commission (SSC), which is currently for 10 years and can be extended to four more years. Now, women, like men, can serve the Navy till retirement if they are entitled a permanent commission for their performance in the Navy.  

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said denying women equal rights in the Navy would be a miscarriage of justice.

“Once statutory bar was lifted to allow entry of women officers then male and female officers are to be treated equally in granting permanent commission,” the court said.

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The decision to grant permanent commission to women officers was moved in September 2008 but was only applicable to women SSC officers. The serving women were excluded back then. The High Court in 2015 had held that the exclusion of serving women officers from the permanent commission was irrational.

The court cited that the women officers who had retired during the pendency of the case could be reinstated.

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The order comes months after the Supreme Court of India in a landmark decision had ordered the Government, to allow Indian women officers commanding positions – not combat roles – in the Indian Army.

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