New Delhi: CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat today
urged Defence Minister A K Antony to direct the army to grant
permanent commission to women officers and implement a Delhi
High Court order in this regard.
While appreciating employment of 22 women officers by the
Indian Air Force, she said, "It is extremely unfortunate that
the army has still not implemented the High Court Order. This
shows a bias and prejudice against women which cannot be
tolerated in any democratic society."
In a letter to Antony, she said, "One cannot have such
double standard in the Defence Services of one force accepting
the High Court order and the other violating it. This hardly
brings any credit to the army."
Maintaining that under such circumstances, the will of the
executive was required, the CPI(M) leader urged the Defence
Minister to "ensure that the army sheds its retrograde outlook
towards women officers and implements without delay the High
Court order. Since the persuasion has failed I hope you will
direct the army to take necessary action."
The Delhi High Court had in March ordered the army and air
force to end discrimination against women officers and grant
them permanent commission.
About 50 women officers from the air force and the army
had moved the court, accusing the government of discrimination
against them compared to their male counterparts from the
short service commission, who are given an option to take up
permanent commission after 14 years of service. Women had to
compulsorily retire at the end of 14 years.