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Live Updates Contempt plea against Army chief of Staff MM Naravane over delay in grant of permanent commission to women officers in the Army. [LIVE UPDATES]

permanent commission women officers in the Army

Nov 12, 2021 Hearing Commence on Permanent Commission of Women Officers

SC: Ld ASG has stated that above dispensation upon instructions have been accepted to subserve the interest of women participation in the army. We appreciate the fair stand of army authority in putting at rest all outstanding issues pertaining to women SSC officers

ASG: let all other conditions remain

Justice Chandrachud: there will be no dilution of standards. In compliance with our earlier judgment, let permanent commission be awarded to the rest of women officers within Nov 26 , 2021

Adv V Mohana: We thank the court for this order

SC: We know you have a brief and you will have to be fair to the court

Mohana: please keep this matter after Nov 26 so that update can be taken

SC: during the course of these proceedings permanent commission was granted to the 39 women SSCOs. On a further review, out of 36 officers in contempt plea 25 officers have been granted PC as on Oct 29, 2021

SC: The issue pertains to the 11 officers whose cases have to yet be recommended for permanent commissions.

ASG: There are 36 officers out of 72. One has opted for release. out of 35, 21 have been granted, one is being considered on separate parameter. 14 were not granted and 13 were medically unfit. 11 we will grant now in 10 days

ASG: Now coming to the two individuals whom Mrs Mohana mentions, both of them don't form part of this 72. Akansha Srivastava and Himalini Pant.

ASG: The candidate says health record card has been submitted which were given to her by concerned medical authorities.

SC: Let the two candidates pursue remedies as per available in law

ASG Sanjay Jain tells court the issue is of 11 women officers. The confidential reports are there. Against 8 officers, complaints are pending. The CRs are confidential. 

A senior officer from Army has been sent physically to the Supreme court with the copies of the confidential reports to show the Judges.

Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, A S Bopanna asks court staff to escort the officer inside the court. "We will send an officer of the court to escort them inside".

ASG-- they have claimed that the pattern of evaluation evolved by the army for PC disproportionately affects women.

ASG-- they have claimed that there is pattern of systematic discrimination

J. DYC-- do they have disciplinary and vigilance clearance?? Then grant PC to them also. You cannot keep them waiting. If they gave clearance then you cannot hold them back due to some remarks given in the past

ASG-- there are other considerations. ACRs are there. 80% valuation is on basis of the datasheet. 20% is about the evaluation by the board members. The members of the selection board give grading apart from the specific marks on overall performance of officers. Figurative assessment of reporting officers.

Sr adv Huzefa Ahmadi-- these officers have been fighting for years with their back to the wall. Have had to argue for the right to be considered. The Army had given a similar argument earlier also.

Sr adv Huzefa Ahmadi for women officers-- your Verdict did not allow any discretion to the Army regarding appointment of officers who had recieved over 60% marks.

You had noted two officers by Name in your verdict as being Highly decorated officers. Even those two have been rejected and not given PC

Adv V Mohana for women officers-- this is extremely humiliating for the women officers. This application by the army for discretion of 20% marks is essentially asking for a review of your Verdict.

ASG-- there are five independent parameters. This 20% marking is different.

J. DYC-- after the IA was dismissed the army can't now ask for more.

ASG-- the two officers that Mr Ahmadi has mentioned are not decorated officers, their achievements are mentioned. They have both filed complaints, the complaints are being considered by the army authorities. The complaints filed by 8 women officers are being considered by the Army. 
But if these women officers are promoted despite adverse remarks by superior officers, even when male officers are not promoted when there are adverse remarks.

J.DYC-- they are serving in the army. They have continued to serve

ASG-- but what about their weak points and the consideration

J. DYC-- we are holding the Army guilty of Contempt of court

Supreme court says Army is guilty of Contempt of court

Bench of justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna says Army committed Contempt of court by not granting Permanent Commission to women officers who had recieved favorable order from Court

Army may be supreme in its authority but the constitutional court is also supreme. 
We had given you a long rope. The remarks we had made in the judgement allowing you to file affidavit on the consideration taken was to ensure that you say what you are doing.

Bone of contention in this dispute is regarding observance by the army authorities of the directions.

In the previous order of this court on 22 October 2021, this court passed certain directions in the batch of Contempt petitions that have been instituted by women short service commission officers.

SC notes that Out of 72 officers, 1 had applied for premature release. 
Out of remaining 71 officers,  39 have been granted PC and a letter has been issued on 29 October 2021 in compliance of our Verdict

The contempt petitions  before this court cover 36 WSSCOs who were not considered for grant of PC.

After a review, 21 out of the 36 officers have been granted PC and the case of 1 is under consideration.

Out of remaining 14 officers, 3 Are considered medically unfit.

ASG-- given the flow of the hearing today I have sought instructions from the highest levels. A clarification is coming in the next few minutes.

SC-- the ASG has now said that save and except for the officers who are found to not meet the medical criteria, the rest of the 11 officers would be issued PC.

The orders for the PC should be issued within one week

After SC warns of contempt action, Army says decision regarding remaining women officers will be taken speedily.

Sr adv Huzefa Ahmadi-- it does not behove of the state to raise such technical arguments.

Army counsel Col. Balasubramaniam-- give us some time to consult. Please keep the matter at 2 pm

As SC says Army committed contempt, lawyers seek time to get instructions.

ASG says getting consultation from "seniormost levels".

SC says will wait to pass order

Hearing now at 2 pm


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