Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who became a prominent face of the Indian Air Force (IAF) after leading the Guard of Honour during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in 2015, moved the Armed Forces Tribunal against her being denied a permanent commission in the force.
The tribunal has admitted the plea, Thakur’s lawyer Sudhanshu Pandey told the media.
“IAF says Pooja Thakur was offered permanent commission in 2012. She declined it then and it can be offered only once. No new offer can be given,” Pandey added.
Thakur, 37, was commissioned into the Administration Branch of the IAF in 2001. At that time a Short Service Commission officer could serve for five years and then opt for another five years.
The rules were later modified and five more years of service were added.
Official sources said that an officer — a man or a woman — has to seek permanent commission and then has to meet the laid down criteria.
The sources also clarified that the policy for granting permanent commission to any officer, be it a man or a woman, is equal and there were no separate rules governing this.