Supreme Court’s ultimatum to Govt. on permanent commission to women in Indian Coast Guard

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Indian Coast Guard (file photo)
The Supreme Court of India has slammed the Central Government for not giving permanent commission to women in the Indian Coast Guard. The Supreme Court, while hearing the petition of a woman officer of the Indian Coast Guard on Monday (26 February 2024),  has urged the Centre to ensure that women are given permanent commission in the Coast Guard. The Apex Court said that ‘women cannot be left out,’ they  have to be on board.

A three member bench , headed by the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud is hearing this petition. Justice B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra are the other member judges of the bench. The next hearing in this case has been fixed for Friday (1 March).

The hearing is being held on the petition of  Priyanka Tyagi who is a Short Service Commission officer in Indian Coast Guard. She has demanded  permanent commission to eligible women Short-Service Commission officers of the force. The court wondered whether the Center was adopting a “patriarchal approach” despite the decision to retain permanent commission for women officers in the armed forces.

Attorney General R. Venkataramani , while appearing on behalf of the Central Government, pointed out the functional and operational difficulties in granting permanent commission to women officers recruited in the Indian Coast Guard. He said that a board has been formed to look  into this matter. On this, Chief Justice Chandrachud adjourned the matter till Friday and said, “There should be women on your board.”

During the earlier hearing in this case, the court had expressed displeasure over the government’s suggestion of allowing permanent commission to 10% women and said that women are not “inferior creatures”.

Who is Priyanka Tyagi:

Priyanka Tyagi, who filed the petition in the Supreme Court, is a pilot in the Indian Coast Guard and holds the rank of Assistant Commandant. In her career of 14 years, she has saved 300 lives and flown 4500 hours. This is also a record in itself.