The Supreme Court apprehends the Army for not being ‘fair’ to women officers and asks that it put its house in order
The Supreme Court requested the army to put its “house in order” on Friday, stating that the army has not been “fair” to the women officers who have complained about delays in promotions following the granting of permanent commissions in 2020 on the directions of the top court.
Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha were hearing the appeal of 34 women officers who have complained that junior male officers are being considered for promotion over them to command and perform combat duties in the military.
We believe you (the Army) have not treated these women officers fairly. On Tuesday, we will issue a peremptory order … Please get your act together and let us know what you are doing to assist them.
In the first instance, do not announce the results for the male officers considered for promotion in October (until the women’s results have been announced).
In October, the bench asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and senior advocate R Balasubramanian, representing the Centre and the armed forces, why these women officers were not considered for promotion.
After posting the plea for passing the orders on Tuesday, the bench stated, “You will need to accomplish two things now. According to the SB III conducted for male officers in October, no male officer will be posted until their (women) SB III has been completed. When the Centre’s law officers expressed commitment to the cause of the women officers, the Chief Justice of India replied, “We mean Jain (ASG) and Col Bala (senior lawyer).” “I am not familiar with your organization.” He added that even the military establishment was committed to the cause.
According to the law officer, 150 seats have been allocated for women officers to advance in the army.
Advocate V Mohna, appearing on behalf of the women officers, stated that 1,200 male junior officers have been promoted since the apex court judgment granting permanent commissions to the women officers.
“Nine male officers have been promoted since the last hearing. In her statement before the bench, she requested that no promotions be made before the senior female officers are promoted.
“I am aware that there are good-intentioned lawyers appearing in this matter, and I am not against the lawyers; I am bringing the grievances against the administration,” she noted.
It is planned that they will claim that they do not have any openings for combat and command positions, according to the senior lawyer.
Prior to that, the top court had asked the Centre what steps it intended to take in response to the allegations of discrimination against 34 women army officers.
During the last hearing before this court on November 22, R Balasubramanian, representing the Center and the armed forces, stated that no officer had been promoted since that date.
“It is my word. The senior lawyer had stated that no one had been promoted since he made his statement on the last date of hearing.
Previously, the bench had sought an explanation from the Centre regarding the complaints of 34 women officers who had alleged that the promotion process for their male counterparts had already begun.
As the bench stated at that time, “We want all these women to be given seniority.”.
There are 34 women army officers who filed the plea, including Colonel Priyamvada A Mardikar and Colonel Asha Kale, both permanent commissioned officers.
In their complaint, they allege that a special selection board convened two months ago discriminated against them by considering for promotion male officers who were much junior to them.
The bench had asked. “Why are you holding a selection board for male officers and not for female officers? The bench asked.
Center counsel replied that a special selection board would be convened for women officers to fill 150 additional posts to be approved by the Union Finance Ministry soon.
According to the senior lawyer, the grievances of the women applicants will be addressed.