The government has told the Supreme Court that it would not be possible to grant permanent commission status to women officers in combat wings like infantry, mechanised infantry and armoured corps.
In an additional affidavit filed before the apex court, the defence ministry has said that combat support arms/ services have to sustain prolonged conflict hazards and hence, there is no question of grant of permanent status to women officer either now or in the future.
The ministry has filed the affidavit in connection with the appeal filed by it challenging the Delhi High Court’s March 12, 2010, judgment directing the Centre to grant permanent commission status to women short service commissioned officers in the air force and the army.
The Centre while agreeing to implement the direction with regard to the air force has however, expressed its opposition to extending the benefit to women in the army combat and its support units.
“That the grant of permanent commission to women officers in combat arms like infantry, mechanised infantry and armoured corps, which are involved in direct combat with the enemy is ruled out because of their close proximity with the enemy and attendant hazards of battle.
“As regard granting permanent commission to women officers in combat support arms like engineers, signals, army air defence, intelligence and services like electronics mechanical engineers, army service corps and army ordnance corps, the issue has been examined at length,” the Centre said justifying its stance.