Citing the criticality of the situation and lockdown restrictions posed by pandemic COVID-19, Centre government has approached the Supreme Court to grant six more months to implement its February 17 order. The top court in a landmark judgment allowed the permanent commission to women officers in the Indian army.
Ministry of defence has submitted the application on June 10 to extend the original three month period which was earlier granted to the centre to implement the top court orders, to six months.
In the Supreme Court judgment, it was held that all Short Service Commission (SSC) officers (both within the period of 14 years of services and beyond that) should be entitled to permanent commission.
As per an MoD official, a government sanction letter for the permanent commission has been drafted under which 610 women officers will be entitled PC.
In order to evaluate the physical well being and capacity of women officers, Army’s Directorate General of Military Training (DGMT) in May has rolled out new policy mandating the officers to complete Battle Efficiency Test (BET) and Physical Proficiency Test (PPT). Besides that DGMT has also mandated for all women officers to clear the long gunnery staff course, Junior Command (JC) course, and degree engineering courses.
The application filed by centre blames the COVID-19 for the delay in implementation of the order and stated that the pandemic has crippled the administrative functioning. Centre also pointed out that all the offices were not functional and therefore due unavailability of the staff, the government was not able to comply with the apex court’s orders.
“The applicants have commenced the process of substantial compliance of the directions issued by this Hon’ble Court in earnest and in letter and spirit. However, in view of the Corona pandemic and the ensuing lockdown coupled with exigencies of services, the applicants have not been able to complete the same and require some more time to complete the process,” said the application filed by centre.