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Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold the release of ten women officers serving in Indian Navy who are seeking grant of permanent commission from the naval services, scheduled on December 31 this year.

Taking note of the submissions made by senior counsel Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the women officers, the vacation bench comprising Indira Banerjee and Aniruddha Bose has granted the interim relief.

The matter was heard through video conferencing in which the bench has asked the Centre and Naval Staff Chief to file their replies to the pleas moved by women naval officers. The matter has been posted for next hearing on January 19.

“We will direct that the matter be listed on January 19 along with pending writ petitions. In the meanwhile, there will be a stay on order of December 18 (on release/retirement of women officers),” stated the court.

The bench also added that the interim order would not amount to any equity in favour of women officers.

There were two separate petitions moved by the 10 women petitioners. They were about to release on December 31.

Earlier this year, the apex court gave a landmark judgment where it had asked the Centre and Navy to grant Permanent Commission to the Short Service Commission women officers working in the Indian Navy. The court had directed them to complete the modalities within three months.

But later the deadline was moved to December 31 after Centre moved the top court seeking six months time citing pandemic situation.

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