NEW DELHI (TIP): Even as it claimed that women officers in the Indian Navy are not discriminated against, the government has told the Supreme Court that permanent commission for women short service commission (SSC) officers is “something that the law itself bars” and such an order would “annihilate the functional autonomy of the armed forces”.
Challenging the order of the Delhi High Court, which said on September 4 that women officers in the Navy should be offered permanent commission after they complete their short service stints, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Chief of Naval Staff have said that it violates the principle of “separation of powers” between different wings. The petition urges the Supreme Court to stay the HC order, saying it
“severely affects the operational structure and administrative exigencies in the Indian Navy.”
Contending that “men and women are identified by the same yardsticks”, the appeal states that operation of the HC verdict would “result in disturbing the seniority of existing personnel and their promotional avenues”.
“It would further cause financial and other constraints on the government and has resulted in the respondents (women officers) being provided with something that the law itself bars… the division bench (of HC) has effectively overridden the statutory provision and dictated the policy of the Indian Navy for recruiting women officers,” it adds.