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New Delhi (India), Feb 17 (Canadian-Media): Favor of equal rights in the armed forces was ruled by India's Supreme Court on Monday and ordered the Indian government to make women officers to be granted permanent commission and command positions on par with men, media reports said.
India's Supreme Court. Image credit: Facebook Page
The judgment implies all women to be eligible for the same promotions, ranks, benefits and pensions as their male counterparts, irrespective of their years of service or whether they had retired.
"This change will lift up women -- not just in the army but all girls across the country and the world," said Lt. Col. Seema Singh to reporters after the court ruling.
Although the court's ruling does not permit women to serve in army combat units, like the infantry or artillery corps, they are now eligible to command entire battalions or head the intelligence department.
It was agreed by the Indian government last year that permanent commissions would only be given to female officers who had served less than 14 years, which excluded hundreds of women who had already served out their short service commissions.
Aishwary Bhati, one of the lawyers representing female officers, said the government's decision denied women a route to leadership positions: "It is not about money, it is about career prospects."
A powerful defense of equality was delivered by the Supreme Court in its verdict on Monday, saying in the judgment that it was time for change in India's armed forces.
"The time has come for a realization that women officers in the army are not adjuncts to a male dominated establishment whose presence must be 'tolerated' within narrow confines," the court said.