The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Centre time till December 31 to implement its verdict on granting permanent commission to Short Service Commission women officers in the Indian Navy, PTI reported. The government had sough the extension because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the top court had ruled that serving Short Service Commission women officers in the Indian Navy were entitled to permanent commission, adding that they must be treated at par with male officers. It had given the Centre three months to implement the verdict. The bench had also granted pension benefits to women officers in Navy who have retired and not been granted permanent commission.

In June, however, the Centre requested for a six-month extension to the deadline because of the health crisis.

In another landmark decision 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.

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.