MAJOR JATINDER PREET KAUR Vs. UOI
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
MAJOR JATINDER PREET KAUR
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T.S.THAKUR, J -
(1.) In this petition for a writ of certiorari, the petitioners have assailed an order issued by Respondent No.2 releasing the petitioners from short service commission in the Indian Army upon completion of the period of ten years for which they were engaged. A mandamus directing the respondents to grant extension of service to the women officers of the first batch for a minimum period of 20 years to enable them to complete their pensionable service has also been prayed for.
(2.) Commission as an officer or as a Junior Commissioned Officer in the Army is regulated by Chapter 3 of the Army Act. Section 12 appearing in that Chapter renders all females ineligible for enrollment or employment in the regular Army except in such corps, departments or branches forming part of or attached to any portion of the regular Army as the Central Government may by notification in the official gazette specify in that behalf.
(3.) In terms of Special Army Instructions (SAI) No. 1 of 1992 dated 7th September, 1992, the Government formulated what is known as "Women Special Entry Scheme (Officers)" hereinafter referred to as WSES(O). This Scheme envisaged grant of commission for a period of 5 years in the Army Service Corp, Army Ordinance Corps, Army Education Corps, Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department to women including Central or State Government Servants and those serving in the territorial army, Navy and Air Force. One of the conditions of eligibility stipulated under the scheme was that the candidate must be an unmarried female and must not be below 19 years of age or above 26 years of age except for some of the corps and departments where the age should not have been below 21 years or above 27 years. The instructions stipulated the process of selection by which the candidates would be enrolled, the physical standards required for such enrolment, pre-commission training, besides declarations and bonds to be given and executed by those enrolled. It also prescribed the conditions precedent for the grant of commission, the period of probation and disposal on expiry of the commission. Para 19 of the scheme is relevant in this regard and may be extracted at this stage :
"Disposal on Expiry of Commission. On expiry of contractual period of commission i.e. five years commissioned service from the date of grant of commission, they will be released from the service. The officers granted commission under this Army Instruction will not be granted permanent commission or any extension beyond five years of commissioned service.";
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