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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The issue of permanent commissioning of women in Indian Army has not been fully resolved. An appeal has been filed in Supreme Court against an order asking some of them to leave service by September 12. A total of 28 women officers have been declared unfit to serve in the Indian Army with 11 of them set to leave, as per the order.

Seven of them have knocked the apex court terming the order discriminatory. Speaking to this newspaper, one of the officers said the Army is not accepting the same criteria based on which women officers were given extensions twice earlier.

“Most of us have served more than 20 years and have been given extensions twice on the very criteria which now is the basis for grant of permanent commission to women officers. But the Army is now saying that we are not eligible.” Fifteen of the 28 are medically fit, added the officer.

The landmark ruling to grant permanent commission to women officers was given by the Supreme Court in February, 2020, after which a special board was set up to identify the women officers to be commissioned. A total of 615 women officers were considered, of which 424 were granted permanent commission.

An Army officer said, “Not every male officer joining through the Short Service Commission gets a PC. Only 60- 65 per cent get it.” There are around 43,000 officers in Indian Army, including 1,650 women, which is just 3.83 per cent. Women have been granted PC in Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, and other divisons.