Slamming the Centre's 'mindset', former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday, said that it had disrespected every Indian woman by arguing against according permanent commission and command posts to them. He hailed the Supreme Court's verdict and congratulated India's women for proving BJP wrong. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was the lawyer of the petitioners said that 'misleading statements by Army' were rejected by the court today.
Upholding the Delhi High Court's verdict, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Chandrachud, earlier in the day, stated that it was an obligation of the Centre to set up the permanent commission for women in the armed forces in all areas but combat positions. It added that by not doing so is a violation of the court's orders. It also set a deadline of 3 months to set up the commission.
The Supreme Court in its order also observed that there was a requirement for a change of mindset when it came to 'gender stereotypes' adding 'Centre’s reply disturbing' while perpetuating sex stereotypes. "It is an insult to women as well as the army when aspersions are cast on women, their ability and their achievements in the army," read the SC's order.
In its petition, the Centre had pointed out to several issues, including "physical prowess” and “physiological limitations” as challenges for women officers to meet the exigencies of service in the Army. It also stated that in times of war, women in command would be hard hit when they would be taken as prisoners of war and hence they needed to be kept away from positions of command. Moreover, the Centre argued that most men in the army are brought in from rural areas and such men would not be willing to take orders from women in dominant positions.