Supreme Court Restrains Centre, Navy From Releasing Officers From Service [31.1.2022]


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Centre and Navy from releasing from services some officers (both male and female), who were not granted a permanent commission and sought reply from the Centre.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and senior advocate R Balasubramanian to have a re-look into the grievances of a batch of naval officers, of which some of them have been released from services.

"Having regard to the fact that some of the officers are due for release on February 2, we direct that the officers who are already in service shall not be released pending further orders of this court", the bench directed.

During the hearing, the bench observed, "Some of them (naval officers) are short of pensionable services by a year or two. Those who have been released from service can be considered for pension".

The bench issued notice to the Centre and Navy and sought its response in four weeks on the batch of pleas filed by the short service commission naval officers, who were not considered for the Permanent Commission (PC).

Mr Jain, who accepted notice, said that he would have a re-look in each case and file a detailed counter-affidavit.

Senior advocates CU Singh, Huzefa Ahmadi, Meenakshi Arora, and other advocates appearing for the Naval officers contended that the vacancy position which has been computed by the naval authorities is not in accordance with the directions of this court in the final judgement in Commander Annie Nagaraja case (2020 verdict).

The lawyers submitted that the vacancies which were spread over 15 years have been substantially reduced as a result of which officers who would otherwise be eligible for the grant of the permanent commission have not been granted the PC.

They contended that the proceedings of the selection board were tendered before the Armed Force Tribunal (AFT) on the last date of hearing and the officers had no opportunity to controvert the contents.

01 Feb 2022