On Monday the Supreme Court of India took cognizance of a plea filed by a short-service appointment (SSA) officer, Priyanka Tyagi, who has been denied the opportunity to be considered for a Permanent Commission despite her commendable service record spanning 14 years.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud issued a notice to the Indian Coast Guard and the Ministry of Defence in response to the officer's plea, setting the stage for a crucial legal battle over the rights and opportunities afforded to women officers in the armed forces.
Priyanka Tyagi, through her counsel Senior Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, articulated her case before the apex court, underscoring her exemplary contributions during her tenure. Tyagi, who has served with distinction, highlighted her pivotal role as part of the pioneering All Women Crew on the Dornier Aircraft, deployed in the Eastern Region for maritime patrolling duties. Notably, she served as the Captain of the Aircraft near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) at ICGAS Chennai, demonstrating exceptional skill and valor in safeguarding maritime interests.
The petitioner's plea elucidated her swift ascent within the ranks, having been selected as a General Duty Officer after a mere two years of service. Subsequently, she was entrusted with the role of an observer/Navigator, a position for which she underwent specialized aviation training and emerged successful on merit.
Priyanka Tyagi's commitment to excellence is underscored by her accomplishment of accumulating 4500 flying hours on the Dornier Aircraft, a testament to her unwavering dedication and proficiency in executing critical missions, including rescuing over 300 lives at sea.
However, despite her illustrious track record, Priyanka Tyagi found herself confronted with the arbitrary denial of a Permanent Commission, a decision that she contends is not only unjust but also detrimental to the organization's interests. The plea highlights the abrupt cancellation of the board tasked with deciding on Permanent Commission for SSA women officers in the Indian Coast Guard, a move perceived as a regressive step that undermines the contributions and aspirations of dedicated officers like Tyagi.
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