In an interim relief to India’s only lady gallantry award winning officer, Lt Col Mitali Madhumita, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the central government to reinstate the brave-heart with immediate effect and backdate her dues since last year.
A division bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice PS Thakur ordered the government to reinstate her immediately backdating her dues for the last 18 months.
The bench restrained the ministry of defence from discharging her from the service until it decided on giving her permanent commission.
Mitali was to be discharged from service on Friday (today). This is only the interim relief as the final argument in the case is to be heard on a later date.
Col Mitali’s counsel, Aishwarya Bhati, said she was ‘absolutely elated’ by the SC’s interim order.
She told jantakareporter.com, “I had to demolish the the government’s argument because you don’t even put up a resistance to such a case. There was so much of resistance from the government side that I was amazed. The government never wanted this case to be heard. So they were playing hide and seek game.”
On 3 September, jantakareporter.com had highlighted her story exposing the hypocrisy of the central government in treating its women officers. Mitali is the only lady army officer to have won a gallantry award for her heroics during the suicide attack by Taliban at an Indian guest house in Kabul in February 2010.
She risked her life and managed to save at least 19 civilians and many of her colleagues. Indian army rightly recognised her bravery and honoured this real braveheart of India with the prestigious Sena Medal.
After delivering the interim order, Justice Thakur enquired if the lady officer was present in the court room.
Justice Thakur asked, “Where’s this courageous officer?
“She’s here right in the court room sir,” said Bhati adding that “she’s been coming to the court for the last three days despite being down with dengue fever.”
Justice Thakur said, “she’s quite a valiant officer. Would you please tell us more about her heroics and attacks in Afghanistan?”
At that point, Bhati narrated the entire story and how Col Mitali had saved the lives of dozens without caring about her own safety.
A visibly moved Justice Thakur turned to Assistant Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who was representing the central government, and asked if he was happy with the interim order.
An embarrassed Singh replied, “It’s up to your Lordship to decide sir. If you want the government to reinstate her with immediate effect or after sometime.”
The bench said that the officer could join after a week asking the officer to share her heroics with Singh so that he could be little soft when he speaks about such officers in future.
Col Mitali, who had to be hospitalised in a military hospital in Delhi on Friday morning after her blood platelets count fell sharply, is likely to resume office in Lucknow after a week.