<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over two dozen women officers of the Indian Army have moved an application in the Supreme Court, seeking to implead an ongoing case related to treating Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) at par with Commissioned Officers. The applicants include Major Charu Sharma and Major Neha Bhatnagar.During the hearing of the applications on Friday, the Supreme Court warned the Centre that it would not grant any more adjournments in a matter where Indian Army officers are seeking the effective grant of reckonable Commissioned Service benefits, particularly SSCOs commissioned under the Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES).The bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra commented on the over one year delay, and said the matter would be heard after two weeks and no further delay will be tolerated thereafter.The case of over 100 Army officers — serving and retired — for grant of parity with officers of permanent commission — in accordance with the report of Defence Ministry’s Committee of Experts authored by former Defence Secretary AV Singh, is pending before the top court.The report, which proposed time-bound promotions for the ranks of Capt, Major, and Lt Col in two, six, and thirteen years, respectively, was accepted by the Centre.However, the applicants have accused the establishment of gender-based discrimination.Leading the all-women’s charge, advocate Aishwarya Bhatti said that mere lip service is not enough, the government needs to implement the reforms if it is serious about women empowerment.They have said that even though the Centre has already issued orders under the Army Act extending the benefit of promotions as applicable to Permanent Commissioned Officers to all SSCOs (Men and Women), the reason given by the Army HQ for non-grant of the statutory benefit “reflects nothing but an argument which is an epitome of banality”.The applicants have also pointed out that the Navy and the Air Force have already institutionalised these promotional avenues to all without any cut-off stipulation or specious reason of “reckonable commissioned service”.

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Women Army officers seek parity with men