In a significant development, the Delhi High Court on Friday allowed full service for women officers in Indian Navy. The High Court said that the “sexist bias and service bias” would not be allowed to block progress of women.
Indian Army and Air Force already have full service for their women officers, but in Navy, women officers only serve for 14 years as part of Short Service Commission.
The high court in 2010, while allowing full service for women officers in the army had said, ” women officers deserve better from the government.”
While granting a series of pleas on seeking full service for women in Navy, the court said “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.”
A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri also allowed the women naval officers’ plea seeking retirement benefits like pension. as they were not entitled for pension because the requirement to avail this was a minimum of 20 years of service.
Several women naval officers, both retired and serving. from the logistics, education and air traffic controls, had moved High Court seeking full service for themselves thereby bringing parity with their male colleagues in the Navy and female colleagues in other two wings-Army and the Air Force
In their pleas, these women officers had also accused the Navy of gender discrimination as the men officers were entitled to take advantage of both SSC and permanent commission, while women were restricted to only SSC.