The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Army to reinstate 12 women short service commission officers, who were released from service after they were found unfit for permanent commission, the Hindustan Times reported.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna also directed the Army to protect the women officers’ financial and other service benefits.

“Those WSSCOs [women short service commission officers] released during the pendency of these proceedings shall be deemed to have continued without any break and will be entitled to grant of PC,” the court said.

In a landmark verdict in February last year, the Supreme Court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted a permanent commission, rejecting the Centre’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on “stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”.

Since then, the court has been hearing several cases of women officers, who have said that they were eligible for permanent commission and yet were denied by the Indian Army.

On Monday, the Supreme Court also ordered the Army to grant permanent commission to two women officers who will be discharged from their service in March, The Times of India reported.

Currently, 487 Women Short Service Commission Officers have been granted Permanent Commission out of the 615 who were considered for it, PTI reported.

The court on Monday appreciated the Army for fairly conducting the permanent commission proceedings.

A permanent commission means a career in the Army till retirement while the Short Service Commission is for 10 years, with the option of either leaving or opting for permanent commission at the end of 10 years. If an officer does not get permanent commission, the officer can choose a four-year extension.