Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

The SC upholds HC judgment granting permanent commission for women in Army.

Supreme Court of India

Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi

The SC {The Secretary, Ministry of Defence v. Babita Puniya & Ors. } holds that an absolute bar on women seeking criteria or command appointments would not comport with the guarantee of equality under Article 14. Implicit in the guarantee of equality is that where the action of the State does differentiate between two classes of persons, it does not differentiate them in an unreasonable or irrational manner. In this sense, even at its bare minimum, the right to equality is a right to rationality. It was held that where the State, and in this case the Army as an instrumentality of the State, differentiates between women and men, the burden falls squarely on the Army to justify such differentiation with reason. An absolute prohibition of women SSC officers to obtain anything but staff appointments evidently does not fulfill the purpose of granting PCs as a means of career advancement in the Army. 

It was held by the SC that all serving women officers on SSC shall be considered for the grant of PCs irrespective of any of them having crossed fourteen years or, as the case may be, twenty years of service.

In the present case, a quest for equality of opportunity for women seeking Permanent Commissions in the Indian Army forms the basis of these appeals. The lead appeal originated in a batch of Writ Petitions which were instituted before the High Court of Delhi in 2003 and 2006. Upholding the judgment of permanent commission in the Indian Army by the HC; directions were given by the SC.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published