New Delhi: The Supreme Court today has stayed the Delhi High Court order on the issue of permanent commission for women in the Indian Navy.
The Supreme Court reprimanded the central government for not implementing the decision, saying that the Indian government should be a model employer.
The court while issuing notice in the case also stayed the order of Delhi High Court and Armed Forces Tribunal. The court also stayed the retirement of 6 Navy officers. These officers were to retire on 6 August.
The Supreme Court said, “We accordingly issue an ad-interim order and direction that the petitioner(s) shall not be discontinued from service pending consideration of their requests for the grant of Permanent Commission. The judgment of the Delhi High Court dated 23 July 2020 and of the Armed Forces Tribunal dated 13 July 2020 shall remain stayed.”
“Prima facie, the Union of India having failed to comply with the directions contained in the judgment of this Court dated 17 March 2020 which mandated consideration for the grant of Permanent Commission within three months, it would be unfair to discharge the Short Service Commissioned officers in the meantime, pending consideration,” said the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and KM Joseph.
The Supreme Court was hearing the petition filed by Rupali Rohatgi, against the Delhi High Court order which refused to stay the Armed Force Tribunal order. Before the High Court the petitioners, being a Short Service Commissioned officer of the Indian Navy and whose Commission is due to lapse on 6th August, 2020, have filed the petitions against the order dated 13th July, 2020 of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi (AFT), denying to the petitioners interim relief of restraining the respondents from releasing the petitioners from service till their claim for grant of permanent commission is considered on merits.
Mr. Santosh Krishnan appearing on behalf of the petitioner(s), submits that the Union of India was required to implement the decision of this court dated 17 March 2020 for the grant of Permanent Commission within a period of three months, but this exercise has not been initiated (beyond inviting applications) and completed.
The learned ASG Sanjay Jain appearing on behalf of the Union states that an application for extension of time has been filed before this Court in view of the intervening pandemic and the lock down which was occasioned, as a consequence.
Responding to the submission of the ASG, Mr Santosh Krishnan submitted that as a result of the impugned order of the Delhi High Court, even those cases where interim orders have been granted by the Armed Forces Tribunal are now being listed for vacating them.
In fact, in March itself, the Center had directed the Center to give permanent commission to eligible women officers within three months to implement permanent commission for women in the Navy.
Read the order here;15773-2020-34-22-23289-Order-04-Aug-2020
-India Legal Bureau