The top court on Thursday allowed the pleas of several women SSC officers seeking grant of permanent commission in the Army. It also said that the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) evaluation is faulty and discriminatory.
The bench also observed that the structure of our society is male-centric where the talk of equality is a farce and since independence efforts have been made to abolish this gap and provide equal opportunity to men and women. Delivering its verdict on a batch of pleas filed by female officers who had sought compliance of its February last year directions to the government for grant of permanent commission, promotions, and equal benefits, the Supreme court said the ACR evaluation criteria for grant of permanent commission to women officers ignored achievements and laurels brought by them to the Indian Army.
In its remarkable judgement delivered on February 17 last year, the top court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission like their male counterparts, rejecting the Centre’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on “sex stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”. It had also directed that within three months, all serving short service commission (SSC) women officers have to be considered for permanent commission irrespective of them having crossed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service.
Some of the women officers had said in their petition that directions passed earlier were not being complied with in “letter and spirit” and the procedure for grant of permanent commission is vitiated with arbitrariness, unfairness, and unreasonableness.