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Court strikes down gender discrimination in Army and Air Force

Ruling that not granting permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned women officers in the Air Force and the Army amounts to gender discrimination, the Delhi High Court on Friday directed the two defence services to give permanent commission to all such women officers who were recruited before May 2006.

The judgment by a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M. C. Garg came on a bunch of petitions by some Short Service Commissioned women officers.

Their contention was that the Air Force had promised in its advertisement for recruitment that the Short Service Commissioned officers would be offered permanent commission after completion of five years in service and subject to availability of vacancy and suitability of the candidates.

However, the Air Force changed the recruitment policy in May 2006 saying that no Short Service Commissioned officers whether male or female would be given permanent commission.

The women officers submitted before the Court that they were not given permanent commission when they applied for it. However, their counterpart male officers working with them were granted permanent commission which was discriminatory.

The women Short Service Commissioned officers of the Army had sought their absorption in the permanent commission on the ground of parity with the Air Force women officers.

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Desh Kapoor

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