India’s Apex Court Allows 650 Women Officers Pleas For Permanent Commission in Army

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India’s Supreme Court on Thursday criticized the Army and Navy for discriminating against women officers who wanted to opt for Permanent Commission (PC), and ruled that the requirement for women to get PC is “arbitrary”.

The country’s top court said that it created ‘systemic discrimination’ against women officers.

Terming the ACR evaluation process as arbitrary and irrational, the apex court said that the criteria for grant of PC to women officers ignored the achievement and laurels brought by them to the Indian Army.

Pronouncing verdict on petitions filed by women officers for Permanent Commission, the country’s top court on Thursday said the evaluation criteria adopted by the Indian Army for the grant of PC for women officers is flawed and discriminatory and asked the Army to reconsider its Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) evaluation system.

In a 137-page judgment, the apex court ruled that the “structures of our society have been created by males for males”, and that it indicates an “insidious patriarchal system”.

“We must recognize here, that the structures of our society have been created by males for males. Therefore, certain structures which may appear to be facially harmless are an indication of insidious patriarchal system. A facially equal application of laws to unequal parties is farce, when law is structured to cater to male standpoint,” the court observed.

The court said, “It is not enough to proudly state that women officers are allowed to serve the Indian Army, when the true picture is different. Superficial face of Equality does not stand true to the principles enshrined in the Constitution.”

The court directed the Army to reconsider the pleas of almost 650 women officers within a month in accordance with its order.