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Permanent Commission for women: Plea in SC challenges selection process

The petition, filed by lawyers Archana Pathak Dave and Chitrangda Rastravara on behalf of Lt Colonel Ashu Yadav and 10 other petitioners, will be taken up in court on Wednesday.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi | Updated: November 25, 2020 7:46:38 am
According to the application, the process was conducted in a “prejudicial manner”. It says less than half the applicants have actually been granted Permanent Commission, and not 422.

DAYS AFTER the Army made public results of a selection board — granting Permanent Commission to 422 women officers out of 615 applicants — an application was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the selection process.

The petition, filed by lawyers Archana Pathak Dave and Chitrangda Rastravara on behalf of Lt Colonel Ashu Yadav and 10 other petitioners, will be taken up in court on Wednesday.

According to the application, the process was conducted in a “prejudicial manner”. It says less than half the applicants have actually been granted Permanent Commission, and not 422.

“Denying PC (Permanent Commission) to scores of extremely meritorious and outstanding women officers based on unknown, undisclosed and surreptitious parameters, deviating from the settled norms as applied to gentlemen officers while granting them PC, smacks of gross arbitrariness,” says the application.

“If we compare this result of women officers with their male counterparts then, roughly 90% of the total optees for PC in a particular batch is granted Permanent Commission,” the application says.

It has been made part of a writ petition filed in the Supreme Court in October over “issues of procedural ambiguities and delays by Army in granting PC, promotion and consequential benefits”.

The Army made public the results of the selection panel on

Nov 19. It set up the panel after the Supreme Court on Feb 17 ordered it to consider women officers for Permanent Commission in 10 non-combat branches.

The application says the “figure 422 does not only include those officers who are granted PC but is inclusive of officers found fit but non-optee for PC, which is 57, officers in temporary low medical categories being granted time for stabilisation of medical category, which is 42, officers whose result are being withheld due to non-receipt of requisite medical documents, which is 6, and officers whose results are being withheld due to administrative grounds, which is 40”. Therefore, the application says, “the actual number of officers who are granted PC out of 615 women officers is 277”.

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