Indian top court asks Centre to ensure women get permanent commission in coast guard

Story highlights

Previously, the bench had said that the maritime force must come up with a policy which treats women ‘fairly’ 

Indian Supreme Court on Monday (Feb 26) directed the Centre to set up a fresh selection board to consider the issue of granting permanent commission to women coast guard officers. The top court said that “women cannot be left out” and also warned the government that “if you do not do it, we will.” 

Indian SC was hearing a plea filed by Indian Coast Guard officer Priyanka Tyagi seeking permanent commission for eligible women officers joining the force under short service commission. 

The bench consisted of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra and took note of submissions by Attorney General R Venkataramani. 

During the hearing, Venkataramani said, “I will ask them to file an affidavit. The coast guard is distinctly different from the Navy and Army. The board has been set up and it needs structural changes.” 

It was said that there were some functional and operational difficulties in granting permanent commissions to Short Service Commission Officers (SSCOs). 

Meanwhile, the CJI said, “All these functionalities etc argument do not hold water in 2024. Women cannot be left out. If you do not do it, we will do it. So take a look at that.” 

Watch: 23-year-old Indian national killed in Donetsk air strike: Reports 

Previously, the bench had said that the maritime force must come up with a policy which treats women “fairly”. 

“You speak of ‘nari shakti’ (woman power). Now show it here. You are in the deep end of the sea in this matter. You must come up with a policy which treats women fairly,” the bench had said. 

“Why are you being so patriarchal? You do not want to see the face of women in the coast guard,” the bench had asked Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee. 

The petitioner was the only Short Service Commission woman officer opting for permanent commission and asked why her case was not considered, the bench said. 

“Now, the coast guard must come up with a policy,” the bench said. 

(With inputs from agencies)