SC: Why is the Center Being Questioned for Denying Permanent Commission to Woman Coast Guard Officer?”

Supreme Court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: February 19, 2024 at 22:08 IST

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has raised concerns and questioned the Central Government’s stance on denying Permanent Commission to women officers in the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, leading the bench, expressed skepticism about the government’s approach, wondering if it was adopting a “patriarchal approach” despite the numerous rulings by the Apex Court advocating for the inclusion of women in defense services.

During the hearing of a plea from a woman officer in the Short Service Commission, the CJI urged the Union Government to align its policies with the principles of “Nari Shakti” (women empowerment).

He emphasized the need for a fair and gender-neutral policy, particularly pointing out that since 2009, no woman has been inducted into the Coast Guard.

The CJI highlighted that all three branches of the defense force—army, navy, and air force—now grant Permanent Commission to women officers.

He questioned the government’s reluctance, stating that the petitioner is the only one in her batch seeking Permanent Commission, and it is high time the Coast Guard formulates a policy in this regard.

The Additional Solicitor General (ASG), representing the Union, clarified that there was a distinction between the petitioner’s Short Service Commission (SSC) and the branch of Permanent Commission (PC) she aimed to join.

The CJI promptly referred to previous Supreme Court decisions allowing Permanent Commission for women officers in the Indian Army and Navy.

The ASG mentioned that there is provision for a Permanent Commission for Women in the ICG, but only for 10%. The CJI expressed dissatisfaction with this ratio, questioning whether women are considered lesser beings. The bench urged the Union to develop a gender-neutral policy promptly.

The Court emphasized the importance of gender equality and hinted at addressing broader issues related to women in the ICG. Senior Advocate Archana Pathak Dave and Siddhant Sharma Advocate-on-Record represented the petitioner in this case.


The case originated from the plea of a woman Short Service Appointment (SSA) Officer in the ICG, challenging the denial of consideration for Permanent Commission despite 14 years of service.

The petitioner, appointed in 2009, faced obstacles in her request for permanent absorption, leading to her release from service in December 2023. The Supreme Court, taking notice of the matter, is now examining the denial and the subsequent legal proceedings.

Case Title: Priyanka Tyagi v. Union of India & Ors., Special Leave to Appeal (C) 3045/2024

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