The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to explore the possibility of extending permanent commission to its women force in non-combat branches of the army, in addition to the legal and education wings.
A bench comprising justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra said: "Let us know why this cannot be extended to all branches except combat unit." It fixed November 22 for further hearing.
The same bench had on August 2 asked the Centre to grant the benefit of permanent commission to the women officers in education and JAG wing. The order was passed after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium gave an undertaking to that effect.
While arguing for the officers, advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, submitted they could be absorbed in logistics like Army Service Corp, Army Ordnance Corp, Military Engineering Services, Military Intelligence and Signals. She said these units
were support arms and non-combat branches. She submitted that women as such are not considered for infantry and artillery, which are combat branches.
Lekhi's submissions were made while the court was hearing government's plea seeking time till December 1 to complete formalities of giving permanent commission to the women officers in the JAG and educational branches for which it had given an undertaking on August 2 this year.