Deliberations on to frame policy to deal with career progression of women officers: Army to SC

Deliberations are underway to formulate a policy to deal with the issue of career progression of women officers in the Indian Army and for considering their promotion from the rank of colonel to brigadier, the Supreme Court was informed on Monday.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions of Attorney General R Venkataramani and senior advocate R Balasubramanian that the Army is working on formulating a policy for the purpose.

The bench granted the Army time till March 31, 2024 for drawing up a policy pursuant to an earlier direction on career progression of women officers, and listed their plea in the first week of April next year.

Some women Army officers have alleged discrimination in promotion from the rank of colonel to brigadier.

In a landmark verdict on February 17, 2020, the top court had ordered permanent commission for women officers in the Army, rejecting the Centre’s stand on their “physiological limitations” as being based on “sex stereotypes” and calling it “gender discrimination against women”.

The apex court had directed that all serving Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers have to be considered for permanent commission irrespective of them having completed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service within three months.

Later, in another major verdict on March 17, 2020, the top court had paved the way for granting permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Navy, saying a level playing field ensures that women have the opportunity to overcome “histories of discrimination.

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