After the Indian Air force reinstated 22 women officers granting them permanent commission, Women Officers from Indian Navy’s Education, Air Traffic Control and logistics branch have filed a case for permanent commission. The Indian Navy has been asked to file an affidavit in Delhi High Court on 27 May 2011 for explaining why PC cannot be granted retrospectively in the branches where the doors of PC have been opened in 2008. i.e education, law and naval architecture. In addition, the Navy has to explain why PC cannot be granted in the other branches of the Navy where SSC has been granted to women officers.
Policy regarding permanent commission to women was to be promulgated within 5 years of induction of the first batch of the women officers. However the Government’s policy of according permanent commission to women came 11 years late in 2008. The policy is applicable only to lady officers joining the Navy after 2009. Further, this policy is not applicable to all branches.
The women officers inducted prior to 2009 were forced to retire without pension and other benefits. They have served the force for 14 years. The Coast guard, which works under the Indian navy has no qualms in offering permanent commission to women.
The focus has now shifted to court number 5 of the Delhi high court. In a similar case, the Indian Army was asked by the Delhi High Court to open PC to women officers. Army had filed an appeal in Supreme Court against it. The ministry of defence (MoD) had taken a stand that a notification issued in pursuance of Section 12 of the Army Act, 1950 excluded women from getting permanent commission in the regular Army. The apex court then directed Defence ministry in Jul 2010 to produce an Army notification that makes women ineligible for permanent commission in the regular Army.