Bar on granting command post to women officers in Army is irrational: Supreme Court to government

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 17, 2020, 11.20 AM(IST)

Indian Army soldiers Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The apex court directed the Centre to grant permanent commission within three months to all women officers in the Army

Supreme Court said today that women officers in Army be given a permanent commission as a change of mindset is required on government's part to end gender bias in armed forces.

"Absolute bar on granting command post to women officers in Army is irrational and against Right to Equality," India's top court said.

The apex court directed the Centre to grant permanent commission within three months to all women officers in the Army who opt for it. 

The court said that women officers will also be eligible for command posting in the Army. 

Women Armed Forces

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said: "There is no reason and justification for the union of India not to act as per the Delhi High Court verdict, adding, "On September 2, 2011, the Supreme Court has clarified this aspect and said there is no stay on the high court verdict. Despite that scant regard has been paid to the verdict of Delhi High Court and the order of Supreme Court as well."

The verdict comes after women officers sought the rejection of Centre's view in the case. The government in its reply to the top court had pointed towards "physical prowess" and "physiological limitations" as limiting factors to induct women in higher posts.

The court, however, said that physiological features of women had no effect in granting permanent commission and they have to be given equal opportunity at par with men in the armed forces.

The top court said even after 70 years of post-colonial era, there is a need for change in mindset with regard to giving equal opportunity to women officers in the Indian Army.