“We respect the army but Discipline & Vigilance comes later”: Supreme Court tells Centre to resolve issue of denial of Permanent Commission to Lady Army Officers

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 01:24 PM, 08 Oct 2021

The Supreme Court Friday asked Centre to resolve an issue pertaining to denial of grant of permanent commission “at their end” in a plea filed by 72 Women Army officers alleging that they have been denied permanent commission even after obtaining 60% marks.

Today, before a bench led by Justice Chandrachud, ASG Sanjay Jain appearing for the Chief of Army Staff submitted that they had filed an affidavit laying down as to why Permanent Commission was denied and it clearly indicates that the Conduct of the lady officers was considered while rejecting grant of Permanent Commission.

However, Justice Chandrachud said, "we had said that all the women who cleared 60% shall be given a permanent commission, you can't now say 60% + fitness + Conduct, resolve it from your end so we can close the contempt.”

Earlier, the Court had asked the Central Government to hold the immediate release of 72 Women Army officers while directing the office of Additional Solicitor General and Defence Ministry to file a detailed affidavit explaining the position.

“We respect the Army but the issue of vigilance and discipline will come later,” Justice Chandrachud added.

ASG Jain, after consulting with Senior Advocate Col R Balasubramanium said that they will come back to the Court on this.

Earlier, in the plea filed by Lt. Col Nitisha the apex court had noted, "

  • Administrative requirement by the Army authorities of benchmarking eligible SSC Officers for grant of Permanent Commission, with the officers lowest in merit in the corresponding male batch, held arbitrary and irrational.
  • All women officers who have fulfilled the cut-off grade of 60% in the Special No. 5 Selection Board held in September 2020 shall be entitled to the grant of Permanent Commission, subject to medical criteria and disciplinary/vigilance clearance."

The Court had asked Jain to submit a chart presenting the candidates who have been rejected the reasoning for their denial. The Court has listed the matter for further hearing on Friday while directing that the women officers will not be released before the next date.

Case Title: Nilam Gorwade and Ors. Vs. Manoj Mukund Naravane and Ors. and Other Connected Matters.

Also Read: “It is not enough to proudly say that women were kept at par by adopting the criteria similar to the male counterparts”: Supreme Court Strikes Down The Criteria Adopted By Army To Grant Permanent Commission To Women SSC Officers