The Supreme Court suspended the operation of the Delhi High Court order which directed the navy to give permanent commission to all women officers serving the marine force as short service commission officers.
Current status of women in armed forces:
- India started enrolling women as officers in the armed forces in 1992 and at present the tri-services have a cumulative strength of about 2,000 women officers mainly in the non-combat streams, with the Army employing half of the pack.
- Women officers are given short service commission in streams such as Education, Signals, Ordnance, helicopter and transport aircraft flying, navigation, and such arms and services. Short service commission is a service period of five to fourteen years.
- Indian Army and Air force have accepted permanent commission for women , but not in combat mode.
- Navy’s September 26, 2008 rule offered permanent commission to women officers who joined after the date but only in education, law and naval architecture branches.
Arguments against permanent commission for women.
- It will severely affects the operational structure and administrative exigencies in the Indian Navy” and also “result in disturbing the seniority of existing personnel and their promotional avenues.
- It would further cause financial and other constraints on the government and has resulted in the respondents (women officers) being provided with something that the law itself bars.
- The Navy has maintained that it has not discriminated against women, and that no male officer in the same cadres, who were recruited under the SSC, was offered permanent commission
- There are wide variations between the functions of all three services and each service is given the liberty to choose the policies conducive to meet service-specific standards. So why Navy should follow Indian army and Airforce.