Delhi High Court on Friday allowed a batch of petitions seeking permanent commission for women officers in the Indian Navy, bringing then on a par with their counterparts in the Army and the Air Force, where women are entitled to permanent commission.
Women in services are here to stay and "sexist bias or service bias" can't be allowed to block their progress, a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri observed, while allowing permanent commission for female naval officers.
The high court, while granting the women officers' plea, said the "women are here to stay" and since they "work shoulder to shoulder" with their male counterparts, it would "frown upon any endeavour to restrain the progress of women".
While the Army and Air Force allow permanent commission for women, the Navy has limited women officers to short service commission of 14 years only.
The 14-year service limitation also make these women officers ineligible for retirement benefits like pension as that require 20 years of service. The court also allowed the women naval officers' plea seeking retirement benefits like pension.
Several naval women officers, both retired and serving, from the logistics, education and air traffic control departments of the Navy had moved the high court seeking parity in service conditions with their counterparts in the other two wings of the armed forces.
They had also questioned the gender discrimination of assigning women officers in the Navy to short service commission while entitling men to both short service as well as permanent commissions.