On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, including a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala, directed the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide pensions to 32 women officers. The women were Short Service Commission officers who were not considered for the granting of Permanent Commission and had been fighting the case for 12 years in a bid to be considered for permanent commission.The women officers had joined the IAF between 1993 and 1998 on the basis of an advertisement from November 1991 stating that after a Short Service Commission of five years, the officers would be considered for Permanent Commission. However, as per the petition, the women filed, they received an extended service period of six years instead of being considered for Permanent Commission.In a statement about the judgement, Squadron Leader Ruchita Karthikeyan, who was commissioned in June 1998 told NDTV, It means a lot to us. It has been a long, long fight. A reinstatement would have been better for us, especially for me, being a widow of an air force officer. For me this battle has been twofold - within a year of leaving the air force I lost my husband. a total of three officers among the petitioners included widows who lost their husbands in the service of the nation and were commissioned on compassionate grounds. The court order also directed the IAF to provide arrears of pension from the dates when the officers were deemed to have completed their 20 years of service.The Supreme Court, in passing its order, relied on the 2020 Babita Puniya order which had earlier paved the way for an increased intake of women officers in the armed forces and also brought to light hiring and recruitment practices for women that were deemed discriminatory on the basis of gender.Images used for representational purposes only.