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Supreme Court issues ultimatum to Centre in Coast Guard case: "women can't be left out"

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued an ultimatum to the Centre concerning the grant of permanent commission to Coast Guard officers.

The top court said, "women cannot be left out," and warned, "if you do not do it, we will do it."

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asserted that arguments based on functionality and other factors are irrelevant in 2024, emphasising that women cannot be excluded. The Centre's counsel, Attorney General R Venkataramani, assured the court that he would instruct the Coast Guard to file an affidavit.

The court has scheduled the next hearing for March 1.

The petition, filed by a female officer of the Coast Guard, advocates for permanent commission eligibility for women officers joining the force under short service commission. The Attorney General has contended that the Coast Guard is distinct from the Navy and Army.

During the previous hearing on February 19, the Chief Justice expressed dissatisfaction with the Centre's approach, questioning the indifference towards the Coast Guard. He emphasised that if women can guard borders, they can also protect beaches, urging the government to demonstrate the principles of "Nari Shakti" (women empowerment).

The court had earlier criticised the patriarchal mindset opposing the induction of women into the Coast Guard, noting that women are already part of the Navy, making the Coast Guard no exception.

The petitioner, Priyanka Tyagi, initially approached the Delhi High Court, seeking a permanent commission based on Supreme Court judgments regarding women in the Army and Navy.

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TAGS:Supreme CourtCoast GuardWomen in Coast Guard
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