The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that serving Short Service Commission women officers in the Indian Navy are entitled to permanent commission, reported Bar and Bench. Maintaining that men and women officers should be treated equally, the bench said, “They can sail with same efficiency as male officers.”

The court asked the government to grant permanent commission to serving women officers within three months. It also granted pension benefits to women officers in Navy who have retired and not been granted permanent commission. Permanent commission entitles an officer to serve in the Navy till they retire. The short service commission, on the other hand, is currently for 10 years and can be extended by four more years.

The bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi told the Centre that it cannot discriminate against serving women officers on the basis of gender. “There are enough documentary evidence to suggest women officers in Navy brought accolades to the force,” the bench said, adding that there cannot be 101 excuses for not granting gender equality in armed forces.

The government told the court that women officers can work also in warships, reported NDTV.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said denying permanent commission to women officers who have served the nation would result in serious miscarriage of justice.

The court was hearing the Indian Navy’s appeal challenging the 2015 verdict of the Delhi High Court that had allowed permanent commission for women in the Navy.

In February, the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to grant permanent commission to women officers in the Indian Army, respecting the 2010 order of the Delhi High Court in this regard. The court also ruled that women officers can get “command and criteria” appointments in the Army on par with their male counterparts.