New Delhi, Oct 29 : The Supreme Court on Thursday extended, till December 31, the deadline for implementation of its verdict on grant of permanent commission (PC) to women SSC officers in the Indian Navy.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee passed the order on a civil contempt petition filed by five women officers, through advocate Pooja Dhar, as the officers concerned with the implementation of the March 17 verdict had not taken steps to comply with the directions issued by the court.
The bench also asked the Centre to provide Rs 25 lakh compensation in four weeks to the five Naval women officers, who were not considered for the permanent commissions besides the pensionary benefits, which has already been given to them. The bench extended the time for grant of permanent commissions SSC women officers in the Navy till December 31.
In its March 17 verdict, the top court had said men and women are equal and women should be treated equally, as it paved the way for permanent commissions for women officers in Navy and directed the Centre to implement the directions within three months.
In June, the Centre filed an application in the top court for extension of the deadline by six months against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.
"After the judgement was delivered by this court, the petitioners had awaited communication from the respondents regarding the compliance of the judgement. However, no such communication was forthcoming. In such circumstances, the petitioners wrote to the respondent, reminding them of their obligation to comply with the directions issued by this court," said the women officers in their plea, citing various representation sent to officers concerned.
The plea claimed that their representations have been ignored and the government has not moved any application for extension of time before the top court.
In the March verdict, the top court had said: "As a one-time measure, all SSC women officers who were before the High Court (Delhi) and the AFT who are not granted PCs shall be deemed to have completed substantive qualifying service for the grant of pension and shall be entitled to all consequential benefits." The plea claimed the compliance of the judgement was ought to be have been made within three months, latest by June 17. However, despite the passage of stipulated outer time limit of three months, the officer concerned did not take any steps.
The top court quashed the prospective effect of 2008 Centre's controversial September policy, which restricted permanent commission to certain categories only.