A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday against the Centre's Agnipath scheme alleging that the government has quashed the century-old selection process for the Armed forces which is contrary to the constitutional provisions and without having parliamentary approval.
The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, provides for the recruitment of youths between the age bracket of 17-and-a-half-years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. Protests have erupted in several states against the scheme.
Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022. The plea, filed in the apex court by advocate M L Sharma, has sought to quash the June 14 notification/press note claiming it to be illegal and unconstitutional.
It alleged that on June 14, 2022, contrary to the constitutional provisions and without having approval in parliament and without any gazette notification, the Centre tinkered with the century-old Army selection process and imposed the scheme for recruitment in all three Armed forces divisions. The plea also referred to the protest all over the country against the scheme.
Last week, a separate petition was filed in the top court seeking a direction to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the damage to public properties including that of Railways, and violent protests against the Centre's Agnipath scheme. The plea has also sought directions to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Haryana, and Rajasthan governments to submit a status report on the violent protests.