The Delhi High Court Friday ordered the granting of permanent commissions to women officers in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
A division bench of Justices S.K Kaul and M.P. Garg also ordered the reinstatement of all the short service commission women officers who had retired and who had approached the court seeking permanent commissions in the forces.
The court, in its 32-page order, directed the government to also reinstate those officers who had retired while the case was still pending.
The IAF reacted cautiously, saying it would have to first study the judgement.
The verdict came on a public suit filed by some 60 women short service commission officers.
An elated Rekha Pali, counsel for the women officers, cried: “It’s a big victory for all of us!”
Short service commission officers can serve for a maximum of 14 years, while officers granted permanent commissions can serve upto the age of 60, depending on the rank they rise to.
Women officers hailed the court’s decision.
Wing Commander Rekha Aggrawal, who served in the IAF from 1995 to 2009, said: “I am very glad now. I will again join office and want to serve my nation.”
“Our three-year-long battle has finally become fruitful and the court has finally understood the disparity that women officers in the army face,” Major Seema Singh added.
Singh praised the passage of the women’s reservation bill in the Rajya Sabha and said that Friday’s judgement “will also boost the morale of women.