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Supreme Court directs transfer of various pleas challenging Agnipath Scheme to Delhi High Court


New Delhi: The Supreme Court transferred various pleas challenging the Agnipath Scheme to the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud directed the Registrar General to transfer these matters to the Delhi High Court.

The Supreme Court also clarified that as other similar petitions challenging the Agnipath Scheme are pending in other various High Courts, the concerned High Courts should either give an option to the petitioners to either have their petitions transferred to the Delhi High Court or to keep their petitions pending with liberty to petitioners to intervene in the Delhi High Court.

The top court said it cannot pass the buck and deprive itself of the reasoning of the High Court. The Court also requested the Delhi High Court to take up the matter and dispose of it expeditiously. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the court that various petitions challenging the Agnipath Scheme have been filed before various High Courts. The top court noted a consolidated chart of High Court cases presented by SG Tushar Mehta.

The High Courts of Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand are hearing matters connected to these schemes. The Court directions came after hearing advocates Kumud Lata Das and ML Sharma for petitioners and SG Tushar Mehta for respondents. Various petitions were filed before the top court challenging the Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces. The Central government has also filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court urging it to hear the government in the petitions filed before the top court challenging the Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces.

A Caveat application is filed by a litigant to ensure that no adverse order is passed against him or her without being heard. Advocate Harsh Ajay Singh has filed a PIL seeking directions to the Centre to reconsider its Agnipath recruitment scheme for armed forces. The plea said the announcement of the scheme has caused protests in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and various other states due to the short-term duration of the scheme in the Indian Army for four years coupled with future uncertainties of the trained ‘Agniveers’.

The advocate has also sought a stay in the implementation of the scheme from June 24, 2022. Advocate ML Sharma also filed the PIL seeking quashing of the Centre’s notification for the Agnipath scheme saying the scheme is ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.


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