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Wing Commander Pooja Thakur Moves Court After Indian Air Force Denies Permanent Commission

File Photo of Wing Commander Pooja Thakur.

File Photo of Wing Commander Pooja Thakur.

In her petition, Thakur termed the IAF's decision as "biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable".

New Delhi: Wing Commander Pooja Thakur has moved court after the Indian Air Force denied Permanent Commission to her. In her petition, Thakur termed the IAF's decision as "biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable".

The Armed Forces Tribunal has admitted Thakur's plea and asked the Air Force to respond in four weeks.

She is the first lady officer to lead the Inter-Service Guard of Honour which was inspected by US President Barack Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan in January 2015.

She joined the IAF in 2000 and belongs to the administrative branch. Her father served in the Army and retired as a Colonel.

She was commissioned into the IAF in 2001. In 2014, she was offered Permanent Commission but she refused to accept it at that point of time citing personal reasons.

She now wants Permanent Commission.

According to Thakur's lawyer, IAF says Pooja Thakur was offered Permanent Commission in 2012, she declined it then and now no new offer can be given.



But former IAF officers denied that there is any gender bias in the force. "There is no question of anybody being denied or selected. IAF selects an officer through a selection panel. IAF is not a rozgar yojana. There is no gender bias in Air Force. She has commanded a Guard of Honour does not mean that she qualifies for Permanent Commission. There are many yardsticks based on which a selection is done," former Wing Commander Praful Bakshi said.



"The government has not yet cleared women officers for Permanent Commission. There is a ruling that women officers can serve for 13 to 14 years. The case is still being discussed," Air Marshal (Retd) PS Ahluwalia said.

The 37-year-old officer hails from Rajasthan and is a para jumper.

Three Flying Cadets created history just a few weeks back when they became the first women pilots to be commissioned in the fighter squadron of the Indian Air Force. The Flying Cadets -- Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh -- passed out from the IAF Academy in Hakimpet in Telangana.

first published:July 14, 2016, 11:31 IST