Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led Guard of Honour for Obama, sues Indian Air Force
Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led Guard of Honour for Obama, sues Indian Air Force

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led the Guard of Honour during US President Barack Obama's visit here last year, has moved the Armed Forces Tribunal here after being denied a permanent commission by IAF. 

In her petition, the officer has claimed that IAF's decision to deny her permanent commission is "biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable". 

The tribunal has admitted the matter and has sought IAF's response, Thakur's lawyer Sudhanshu Pandey said.

Thakur's lawyer Sudhanshu Pandey told ANI it is wrong on part of the Air Force to deny her permanent commission for which she is entitled.

"The Air Force has on the basis of a policy stated that she is not entitled for permanent commission. The policy is their own local policy as the government did not give any decision about it. They did not offer her permanent commission in 2006 which they should have, but when the High Court passed the order in 2010 they offered her the same," said Pandey.

"At that time, her personal situation was such that she could not decide and that is why she requested the Air Force to change her option. They denied it to her and that is why we have filed a petition," he added.

Thakur's lawyer expressed hope that the court understands their stand and pronounces a favourable judgment.

The Air Force has been asked to respond in four weeks.

Thakur led an Inter-Service Guard of Honour last year when President Obama visited India in January. 

Obama had said later said the sight of "incredible" Indian women in the armed forces was one of his "favourite things" in India. 

Thakur had then said, "It feels good that we have been able to achieve our aim of giving him a befitting Guard of Honour. I am glad that he has appreciated."
The defence forces, in a first, had chosen women officers to lead their marching contingents during the Republic Day parade last year. 

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