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SC notice on woman officer’s plea for permanent commission

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the central government on a petition by a decorated woman army officer challenging her release by the army, even though she opted for a permanent commission.

A bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice R. Banumathi issued notice as senior counsel Dushyant Dave told them that Lt. Col. Mitali Madhumita had applied for permanent commission in view of the stand taken by the central government before the apex court and an administrative order issued by the army.

The central government, in the course of an earlier court hearing, had said that women officers would be granted permanent commission in the Army Educational Corps (to which Lt.Col. Madhumita belongs) and the Judge Advocate General’s branch.

Its stand came during a hearing of its challenge to the Delhi High Court order directing grant of permanent commission to women officers.

As court directed the next hearing of the matter on September 14, Dave, appearing for Lt.Col. Madhumita told the court that the way the first gallantry award winning woman officer was being treated sends wrong signals.

He said that she has not been paid her salary for last 17 months.

Lt.Col. Madhumita was conferred the award for her bravery following Taliban attack on their team during her posting in Kabul.

The court also tagged her petition with the matter involving the challenge to the Delhi high court’s March 12, 2010 direction.