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Agnipath: Supreme Court permits Delhi High Court to examine defence scheme

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Delhi High Court to swiftly examine the constitutionality of the new Agnipath scheme for the Indian military being put in place by the central government. It also ordered other high courts that are currently hearing similar petitions to defer further proceedings until that time.


Judges Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and AS Bopanna said, ‘Let us have the benefit of their (the high court’s) view,’ as they permitted the transfer of three public interest litigations (PILs) that are challenging the defence recruitment programme that offers ‘Agniveers’ in the army, navy, and air force a four-year service. These PILs are currently pending in the Delhi High Court.


The Center, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, was open to the idea and showed a chart outlining related cases that are currently pending before the high courts of Kerala, Patna, Punjab & Haryana, and Uttarakhand.


The SC panel said, leaving it up to petitioners in various high courts to either approach the Delhi HC and submit an intervention motion, or get their case transferred to Delhi, that ‘in our view, the multiplicity of writ petitions on the same issue will not be desirable or proper.’


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