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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Lt Col. Mitali Madhumita, The Only Woman Army Officer To Win A Gallantry Award

Without bothering too much about her personal safety Mitali Madhumita, then on a United Nations’ mission in Kabul, thrust herself headlong to save precious lives buried under the debris when the Indian embassy in Kabul suffered a terror attack on February 26, 2011.

Had she wanted she could have easily looked the other way and allowed local security agencies take charge of the rescue operations. Her brave act helped save scores of lives of those grievously injured in the attack.

For her valiant act, Mitali was conferred with the Sena Medal, the very first awarded to a woman army officer who went beyond the call of duty and helped save lives.

Mitali’s act of bravery has once and for all put a lid on the debate whether women should be given permanent commission in the Indian Army.

The Supreme Court sought the Centre’s response on a plea of Lt Col Mitali Madhumita, the only woman army officer to win a gallantry award, seeking restoration of Armed Forces Tribunal order asking the government to consider her case for a permanent commission.

A bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi issued notices to the government and the army on the officer’s plea seeking lifting of the stay ordered by the apex court on the tribunal’s February 5 order asking the authorities to consider her permanent commission.

A Permanent Commission means a career in the Army till retirement.

The bench has sought government’s response by September 11 and posted her plea for hearing on September 14 when it will also hear the appeal against the tribunal’s order.

The tribunal had entertained the officer’s plea against the government’s move to reject her application due to her earlier unwillingness regarding grant of permanent commission.

The tribunal had also directed the Centre that she shall be paid her pay and allowances till her case for permanent commission was decided.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave and Advocate Aishwarya Bhati submitted that the officer was not paid her pay and allowances for the past 17 months.

In her application, the officer said she had earlier expressed her unwillingness for permanent commission when she was posted in Afghanistan and was also facing matrimonial difficulty.

However, she changed her decision within the prescribed time and sought permanent commission, the application said.

The apex court on August 3 had stayed the tribunal’s order and posted the matter for further hearing along with other identical cases.


The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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