There cannot be any gender discrimination in granting permanent commission to Women in Navy: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

A few weeks ago the Supreme Court of India has ordered the central government to permanent commission the jobs women hold in the Indian Army and now it was time for to pass an order supporting the Indian Navy. And on Monday, 16 March 2020, Supreme Court of India passed an order favouring the women employees of the Indian Navy for the permanent commission of their jobs. The Supreme Court bench is headed by Hon’ble Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Brief Facts:

It started when the central government challenged the order passed by the Delhi High court’s decision of permanent commission the short service commission jobs held by women officers before Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court has made a statement saying  “The time has come for a realisation that women officers in the Army are not adjuncts to a male-dominated establishment whose presence must be “tolerated” within narrow confines”[i], also the current Indian Army is facing a deficit of 12,000 officers concerning this the Supreme Court has made another statement  “Despite the deficiency of officers in support services, the Army is letting go of trained women officers due to gender discrimination and not granting permanent commissions to women officers”[ii].


1. Would providing permanent commission to the women in Indian Navy be productive?

2. Are women capable of handling the physical and mental pressure faced by men in the Indian Navy?

Key Features:

1. The Supreme Court considers it discriminatory on part for women officers working in the Indian Navy who are not given a chance to move forward and prove their strength even when many of them prove more efficient then other men.

2. The Central Government has not considered many women for combat operations as the Russian warfare are not installed with any sanitary equipment and hence women employees would face difficulties.

3. The Supreme Court has said that “women can sail with the same efficiency as male officers and there should not be any discrimination”[iii].

4. The short service commission is extended with 4 years of service which not is 14 years on whole.

5. The current serving women officers shall be granted with permanent commission including increments.


It is discriminative to the women employees serving in the Indian Navy when not allowed to have a permanent commission, which provides them with a service period of 10 years. in this time they wouldn’t reach any higher position which holds command, but they have to remain subordinates to other men when few women are more efficient than many men in the force. This discrimination towards women is due to the major belief of this nation considering women must belong to domestic chores and men are the bread earners. This misconception was struck down today by the Supreme Court of India by providing permanent commission to the women which will increase the respect given towards them for the services they provide and also prove that they not only belong to domestic needs but are also equally capable of what a man can achieve.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

End Notes:

[i] ET Online, After Army, Supreme Court grants permanent commission to women officers in Navy The Economic Times (2020), (last visited Mar 17, 2020).

[ii] ET Online, After Army, Supreme Court grants permanent commission to women officers in Navy The Economic Times (2020), (last visited Mar 17, 2020).

[iii] Aneesha Mathur, After Army, woman Navy officers get Supreme Court’s backing for permanent commission India Today (2020), (last visited Mar 17, 2020).

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