Published On: Sat, Sep 5th, 2015

Delhi High Court allows permanent commission to women in the navy

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Slamming the “sexist bias” that appears to have “blocked the progress of women”, a Delhi High Court bench on Friday said women officers serving in the Navy should be offered permanent commissions once they complete their short service stints. Hearing six separate pleas filed by 19 women officers in the education, logistics and ATC branches of the Navy, who had completed the 14 years of their Short Service Commission, the bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Najmi Waziri said “courts would frown upon any endeavour which tries to restrain progress of women”. A detailed judgment is likely to be released by Monday.

Reminding the Central government and other opponents of the scheme that “women are here to stay” the court allowed their petitions. It noted that women today “work shoulder to shoulder” with their male counterparts.

Questioning the reluctance of the government, the court made it clear it would “frown upon any endeavour to restrain the progress of women”.

It quoted an Urdu poet Majaz Lakhnavi “Tere maathe pe yeh aanchal bahut hi khoob hai lekin, tu is aanchal se ik parcham bana leti to acha tha” to stress that women should be granted full opportunities to make their mark in every profession.

While the Army and Air Force allow permanent commission for women, the Navy has limited women officers only to short service commission of 14 years. A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri also allowed the women naval officers’ plea seeking retirement benefits like pension. Women naval officers were not eligible for pension as it required 20 years of service.

A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri also allowed the women naval officers’ plea seeking retirement benefits like pension.
Women naval officers were not eligible for pension as it required 20 years of service.

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