“We must say that women are here to stay,” said the bench, adding that women were “walking shoulder to shoulder with men in all spheres”.
As per the report published in Business Standard, Commanders Supriya and Prasanna E, who were among the batch of petitioners in the high court, said hitherto women were allowed only Short Service Commission (SSC) in Navy with a service period of 14 years. However, the retired women officers welcomed the judgement and are waiting for the details of the verdict.
The officers had also challenged a 2008 decision of the Navy to grant Permanent Commission only to women who joined after that year and that too only in the Education, Law and Naval Architecture branches. Earlier the women officers were not entitled to pension as it required minimum service of 20 years. After the passing of the verdict they are entitled to all service benefits including pension. Previously the men were applicable for both short service commission and permanent commission while the women were forced to join short service commission.
The petitioners contended that they were losing out on career opportunities and had been deprived of pension because of the forced short service commission. The High Court had issued notices in the case to the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Defence Ministry, asking them to clarify their stand. It had asked the respondents to explain the criteria adopted by them in case of women and men officers while deciding on the permanent commission.