Permanent Commission for Women Officers says Supreme Court: Citing cases of women’s contribution to the armed forces, the apex court upheld the 2010 Delhi High Court judgement. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud dismissed centre’s plea that women are physiologically weaker than men. The bench stated that the submissions of centre were based on age old “sex stereotypes”. Upholding the Delhi High Court 2010 judgement, the apex court directed the centre to implement policy decisions to grant Permanent Commission to women officers in the army in the next three months.
Justice Chandrachud while reading the verdict, stated that the arguments of the the centre raising the issue of physiological limitations and social notions to deny opportunity to women officers is disturbing. He said it cannot be accepted as women officers have performed exceptionally well and brought laurels.
The arguments of government had been derived from age old patriarchal notions ignoring the fact that women stood-to-shoulder with men officers to defend the country playing vital role in line of duty. SC found it deeply disturbing.
Eradicating Gender Biases
“Women in the army is an evolutionary process” said Justice Chandrachud
Insisting on this SC said it would provide a long way in eradicating gender biases prevalent in society. The bench further stated that the SC on September 2nd, 2011 had made itself clear on this aspect by not granting stay on HC verdict. The government should have acted on this way earlier and thus delay in this matter is government failure.
No Permanent Commission in Combat
All women officers in ten streams – signals, Engineering, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronic and Mechanical engineering, Army Service Corps, AOC, Intelligence, JAG and AEC will now be eligible for permanent commission.
No Permanent Commission for women in combat branches.
In my point of view, this verdict will have long run impact in eroding gender biases and will shake the shackles of age old patriarchal notions and stereotypes of society. All these arguments which had been put forth by government are the same arguments which we had 30 years ago when Indian Army were inducting women. All these issues have been handled by army in very mature manner over the years. Thus, there’s nothing to worry about.
It’s something women officers had earned in all these years by serving their motherland in their full potential.