Mindset must change: Women must be given commanding roles in army, says Indian SC

February 18, 2020

NEW DELHI: India's top court Monday ruled that all women army officers are now eligible for permanent commissions, allowing them to be in commanding roles, international media reported.The ruling...

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NEW DELHI: India's top court Monday ruled that all women army officers are now eligible for permanent commissions, allowing them to be in commanding roles, international media reported.

The ruling means that all women officers will now be on par with men when it comes to promotions, ranks, benefits and pensions.

The Indian Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court order on permanent commission to women in the Army. Pulling up the Centre, the Supreme Court told the government that mindset needs to be changed.

The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to ensure that women officers are given permanent commission (PC) in the Army, while noting that the change of mindset is required on part of the government. The SC added that all terms of appointments of women officers shall be same as their male counterparts.

In its verdict on Centre's appeal against the Delhi High Court direction, the SC on Monday said the permanent commission will apply to all women officers in the Army in service, irrespective of their years of service.

Rejecting Centre's opposition to permanent commission to women officers citing physiological features, the Supreme Court said this mindset must change as it perpetuates "gender stereotypes".

"It is an insult to women as well as the army when aspersions are cast on women, their ability and their achievements in the Army," the Supreme Court noted.

The Supreme Court said Centre's opposition to permanent commission and command appointments to women officers citing physiological features is disturbing and can't be accepted. "Centre, by not giving permanent commission to women officers, had prejudiced the case," the SC noted.

While reading out the order on the Centre's appeal challenging the Delhi High Court's ruling in 2010, Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud said, Soldiers must have the physical capability to do one's role. Women in the Army is an evolutionary process."



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