By: Aparajita Patel
The Supreme Court has ordered the petitioners, who are male and female Indian Navy Short Service Commission Officers, to go to the Armed Forces Tribunal to challenge the denial of their claim for Permanent Commission.
In Union of India & Ors v. Lt. Cdr. Annie Nagaraja & Ors, a Division Bench of Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah was hearing related matters challenging the denial of a claim for Permanent Commission or, alternatively, a pension, as decided in Union of India & Ors v. Lt. Cdr. Annie Nagaraja & Ors.
The Supreme Court also ordered the Armed Forces Tribunal to consolidate the petitioners’ original applications, which were filed before different Armed Forces Tribunal benches, to be heard at the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in New Delhi, along with similar matters involving the same issues. The Supreme Court set a deadline of October 31 for the resolution of the cases.
The panel stated, “The interim order dated December 30, 2020, protecting the petitioner’s Commander Amit Sharma, Commander Y.K Singh, and Commander Paramjit Soodan from Short Service Commission retirement, shall be continued.” Senior Advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for a batch of petitioners in Writ Petition no: 1269/2020, informed the court that out of 10, seven petitioners have been granted Permanent Commission during the pendency of the petition.
He said that three petitioners were denied permission to join as Director, Business Development, EDCIL India (PSU), stating he could not be spared due to lack of manpower. Lawyer Anant Vijay Palli informed the court that the petitioners represented by him, who are lady officers have now retired. Justice Chandrachud said: “I have the highest respect for these officers, sending them to Armed Forces Tribunal is not the happiest thing in the world for us, but we are also bound by the discipline of law”