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SC happy over Army women officers getting permanent commission

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Army open doors for women as jawans in military policeNew Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday expressed happiness after learning that the Centre has implemented its verdict to grant permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “It is the victory of our nation that women aspire to achieve the highest pedestal.”

The remark was made after senior advocate R. Balasubramanian, representing the Centre, during the hearing of a matter, informed the bench, which also comprised Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, that 70 per cent of the women officers have received permanent commission following the top court verdict.

On February 17, a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud had directed Centre to grant permanent commission to women in the army regardless of their service, in all the ten streams where the Centre has taken a decision to grant Short Service Commission (SSC) to women. The top court had said the delay in granting permanent commission has caused “irreparable prejudice to the women officers”.

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As Justice Chandrachud said “I believe some 450 officers got it”, Balasubramanian replied that 1/7th of the officers did not opt for it.

Justice Chandrachud added many women probably qualify for pension and the fact that 70 per cent of them got it shows that they are dedicated. “Fit at this age also, as against the contention that was raised,” he noted. Balasubramanian replied it is path-breaking.

Justice Chandrachud said it is a victory for our nation. “It is a great feeling even for us as judges,” he added.

In the verdict, the top court had observed the Centre is clinging on the sex stereotypes premised on assumptions about socially ascribed roles of gender which discriminate against women. The Centre had also argued on the “greater challenge for women officers to meet the hazards of service owing to their prolonged absence during pregnancy, motherhood and domestic obligations towards their children and families”.

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Justice Chandrachud, however, termed it “strong stereotype”, which assumes that domestic obligations rest solely on women.

“Reliance on the ‘inherent physiological differences between men and women’ rests in a deeply entrenched stereotypical and constitutionally flawed notion that women are the weaker sex and may not undertake tasks that are too arduous for them,” he said, hitting out on prevalent stereotypical notions against women.

Source: IANS

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