Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why can’t discharged women officers be reinstated, SC to Army

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the Army's response to a reinstatement plea by women officers who have been discharged after completion of 14 years of service despite the apex court not staying a Delhi High Court judgment directing grant of permanent commission to them.
The application, moved by 4 Lt Colonels and 10 Majors, said since the HC judgment had not been stayed, the Army should be asked why it has not taken them back in service. They said the Indian Air Force had decided to grant permanent commission to women.
However, the SC had stayed contempt proceedings initiated by women officers for non-compliance of the HC’s March 12, 2010, judgment. “Indian Army has not complied with the HC judgment, rather acting in defiance of it as they kept releasing serving women officers from Army till the apex court stayed the release of serving women officers of the 9th batch by its order of March 4 this year,” the applicants said.
Many of the applicants were single women supporting their families and facing serious financial hardship because of non-payment of salaries for last 18 months, they said. TNN
A bench of Justices J M Panchal and H L Gokhale issued notice to the ministry of defence, sought its response within a week and posted the application for hearing on August 24.
The 14 applicants were the original petitioners before the Delhi High Court — Lt Colonels Ashu Yadav, Sangeeta Sardana, Reenu Khanna and Monica Mishra and Majors Renu Nautiyal, Anupama Munshi, Prerna Pandit, Seema Singh, N V N Rao, Sandhya Yadav and Reeta Taneja.
The bench also issued notice on another application filed by six more women officers whose discharge from the Army was stayed by the SC on March 4. They alleged that though they have not been released from Army, they have not been paid salaries since March. “The applicants are posted at various places and they are discharging their respective duties diligently. Despite stay of release order, the Army is not releasing salaries to the applicants with intention to harass the women officers,” they said.

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