Permanent Commission for women in Army

      The Central Government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the army will consider giving permanent commission to serving women Short Service Commission Officers in its Judge Advocate General (JAG) and educational branches. Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted an undertaking before a bench comprising Justice J M Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra in this regard, which stated that the exercise will be completed within two months. The bench recorded the undertaking, which said: "The Solicitor General on instruction states that women short service commission officers in service shall be considered for permanent commission in JAG and educational branch of Army." The court also noted that the case of Major Lina Gurung, a short service commission officer, who is retiring in August, will be considered on precedence subject to the requirements. Justice J M Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra later stayed the contempt proceedings till further orders for not complying with the Delhi High Court directions to grant permanent commission to women serving in the armed forces. "In view of the statements made at bar by the Solicitor General, the contempt proceeding is stayed till further order," the bench said. Earlier on March 12, the Delhi High Court in a unanimous judgement ordered the Indian Air Force and Army to grant permanent commission to women officers. The High Court had on December 14 reserved its order on the petitions for a direction to the Centre for granting of permanent commission to serving women officers like their male counterparts in the armed forces. Now, women have the same terms of employment as men. Women had to retire after 14-years in service irrespective of their record. This came as a major boost to the women serving in the defence services. They were not entitled to pension and other financial benefits after retirement. Men, on the other hand are eligible to receive permanent commission after five years. Women were first allowed into the army in 1992. In 2005, the army limited the service for women to 14 years.

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