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Supreme Court grants four weeks to Centre to respond to plea filed by woman Lt Col for age relaxation to write exam for Permanent Commission

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The Supreme Court on Monday granted four weeks time to the Centre to file its response in a plea filed by Lt Col Suprita Chandel, who sought relaxation in age to appear in a departmental examination for grant of Permanent Commission.

The division bench of Justices L. Nageshwar Rao and B.R Gavai issued notice while hearing the plea today. The Court on March 8, had already stayed the order of Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench, Lucknow which had dismissed the petition seeking directions to relax age criteria, thereby giving one chance to her to appear in departmental examination for grant of Permanent Commission.

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The petitioner has a Bachelor in Dental Surgery (BDS) degree and was commissioned as an SSC officer in AD Corps on 10.03.2008 at the age of 27 years, 11 months and 28 days. She availed two chances of Permanent Commission (PC) available to her within first 4 years of commissioned service as SSC officer in 2010 & 2011. Therefore, she became overage for her third chance falling in her 5th to 8½ years of service being above 30 years of age as per the extant policy in vogue.

After being aggrieved with amended provisions and from denial of permanent commission, she submitted a representation on 06.09.2014 to the office of DGAFMS which was rejected vide order dated 15.09.2014.

It was contended by the respondents that, the age relaxation benefit cannot be granted to the applicant in view of amended para 4 (a) of AI 37/78 as it can be extended up to 35 years in respect of those candidates who are in receipt of PG qualification of Masters in Dental Surgery duly recognized by Dental Council of India, at the time of initial commission to Army Dental Corps.

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Armed Forces Tribunal had dismissed the application after observing that applicant is not eligible for age relaxation to appear in departmental examination for grant of permanent commission under the provisions of AI 37/78, judgments relied upon by the applicant being were based on different facts and circumstances.

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