"To cast aspersions on women based on gender is in fact an affront to the entire Army where men and women serve as equal soldiers," said the court in a significant judgement on Monday.
The top court ruled that women officers should get permanent commission (PC) in the Army and emphasized on the necessity to change the mindset to "put to end gender discrimination" in armed force.
The apex court granted three months time to Centre to implement this order. A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that there is no ground to deny women officers PC even if they have completed 14 years rules.
Justice Chandrachud cited examples of leading women officers -- Captain Tanya Shergill and Captain Madhumita. The court also noted women officers as convoy commanders in Leh, Udhamnagar etc.
The court directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers who opt for it. Also, it directed that the women officers shall also be eligible for command posting in Army.
This new policy will benefit all Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers, noted the top court. "SSC women officers with less than 14 years, as well as beyond 14 years of service will be granted PC," the court observed.
For women officers in command assignment, the top court said there cannot be absolute exclusion of women officers, and women cannot be totally ruled out for command assignments and it should be considered on a case by case basis.