SC seeks reasons for disqualifying 72 women Army officers

They should not be relieved from service till next date of court hearing, it says

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to explain the reasons for finding 72 women Army officers ineligible for permanent commission. It said they should not be relieved from service till the next date of court hearing.

A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna intervened after the lawyers for the women officers said their clients were disqualified despite satisfying the 60% assessment threshold for permanent commission as prescribed by the court in a judgment in March last.

The March 25 order directed the government to grant permanent commission to “Women Short Service Commissions Officers who obtained 60% marks in their assessment subject to their meeting the medical criteria prescribed by the Army’s August 1 2020 order and receiving disciplinary and vigilance clearance.”

‘Violation of order’

The women officers, represented by senior advocates Meenakshi Arora, Husefa Ahmadi and V. Mohana, said their disqualification was a gross violation of the March judgment.

“The Supreme Court was very clear on permanent commission. We all have above 60 per cent. We are all medically fit. And there is no vigilance case against us. We fulfil all criteria for permanent commission,” Ms. Arora submitted.

The court has asked the government to produce a complete chart of the reasons. It posted the case for October 8.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said the 72 women officers would have been rejected for individual reasons and not disqualified on the basis of a blanket one. He agreed to analyse the reasons in each case.

Mr. Ahmadi said what had happened was an abuse of process.

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