Plea Against Agnipath Mentioned in SC; Union Govt Files Caveat Asking to Be Heard First

Advocates M.L. Sharma, Vishal Tiwari and Harsh Ajay Singh have individually moved the apex court against the Agnipath scheme.

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New Delhi: While the Army has issued the first notification for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme stating that hiring will begin in July 2022, three advocates have filed pleas at the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union government to reconsider the scheme.

A plea seeking the formation of a judicial committee to examine the impact of the scheme on national security and for the setting up of a special investigation team to enquire into the large-scale violence in anti-Agnipath protests was mentioned by petitioner and advocate Vishal Tiwari in the Supreme Court today, according to Bar and Bench. 

Justice C.T. Ravikumar said in reply that the matter will be placed before the Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, and that he will take a call on matters during the court vacations.

Protests against the scheme – which will induct youth into the Army for a four-year period – have engulfed the country, leading to destruction of public property, blocking of roads, cancellation of trains and a countrywide strike yesterday, June 20.

Amidst turmoil, the three service chiefs are likely to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi separately on Tuesday, June 21, to brief him about plan for Agnipath’s implementation, PTI has reported.

LiveLaw has reported that advocates M.L. Sharma and Harsh Ajay Singh are two of the three who have moved the apex court against Agnipath.

Singh has filed a writ petition that states that the announcement of the scheme led to protests in many states. He has additionally claimed that Agniveers, trained in arms but with no commensurate jobs, have a chance of going astray.

“They shouldn’t be looked upon as a burden to the exchequer, but as rough diamonds, to be cut and polished to their maximum capabilities and then deployed in the defense of the nation,” the petition says.

According to Bar and Bench, Sharma has filed a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the scheme.

“During four year[s] they will be paid salary and perk but after 4 years denied candidate will get no pension etc.,” the petition says.

Meanwhile, the Union government has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court stating that the court has to hear its side before hearing any of the petitions.