The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a group of petitions, challenging the newly-launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces. The batch of pleas will be heard by a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna.
These include a plea by armed forces aspirants seeking an urgent hearing in the matter stating the scheme should not be made applicable to those who are already undergoing the selection process. It 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.
Advocate M.L. Sharma also mentioned his plea seeking direction from the top court to quash the notification by the Ministry of Defence on June 14 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 had 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 June 14, 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 that it should be heard before taking any decision.