New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list next week, subject to the Chief Justice’s approval, petitions challenging the Central government’s Agnipath scheme to induct youth into all three-armed forces divisions.
A counsel mentioned the petition before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari.
The counsel representing the armed forces aspirants sought urgent hearing in the matter and added that the scheme should not be made applicable to those who are already undergoing the selection process. She further contended that the matter was urgent, as the career of several aspirants was at stake and pointed out that implementation of the scheme will cut short the tenure of the aspirants to 4 years from 20 years. The counsel said despite several mentionings, the registry has not given a specific date and urged the top court to give a date for hearing on the matter.
Advocate M.L. Sharma also mentioned his plea seeking a direction from the top court to quash the notification issued on June 14, 2022, by the Ministry of Defence announcing the scheme. Sharma said the government can bring out any scheme but it is about right and wrong. He added that more than 70,000 are still awaiting appointment letters. After hearing the arguments, the vacation bench said: “List it before the appropriate bench after reopening”.
Sharma’s plea said a large section of youth have started protesting against the scheme in various parts of the country. It said: “According to the impugned press note… dated 14.06.2022 after 4 years out of 100 per cent selected candidates for Permanent Commission in the Indian Army 25 per cent will be continued in Indian Army force and the rest 75 per cent will be retired /denied jobs in the Indian army. During 4 years they will be paid salary and perks, but after 4 years denied candidates will get no pension etc.”
Another plea has been filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari seeking a direction to set up a committee to examine the scheme and its impact on national security and the Army. The Central government has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court regarding the petitions in connection with the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, saying the court should hear it before taking any decision.