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Delhi HC seeks Centre's response on petitions challenging Agnipath scheme

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre through concerned ministries to file a consolidated response to a batch of petitions challenging the Agnipath scheme in regards to the recruitment in the armed forces.
The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on Thursday while seeking the reponse of the Centre, refused to put stay on the Agnipath Scheme and said "if you succeed in the case, you will get it. We will not pass any stay or interim order and will hear the case finally". Meanwhile, the bench has also asked the Centre to file a separate reply copy on various pending recruitment processes in the armed forces before the introduction of the Agnipath scheme.
On July 19, the Supreme Court had transfered various pleas related to the Agnipath scheme to the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court also clarified that as regards to other similar petitions challenging the Agnipath scheme pending in other various High Courts, the concerned HCs should either give an option to the petitioners to either have their petitions transferred to the Delhi HC or to keep their petitions pending with liberty to petitioners to intervene in the Delhi High Court.
The top court had also requested the Delhi HC to take up the matter and dispose of it expeditiously. The High Courts of Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand are hearing matters connected to these schemes, noted SC.
The SC directions come after hearing advocates Kumud Lata Das and M L Sharma for the petitioners and SG Tushar Mehta for the respondents.
The Central government had 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 the defence forces.
According to a petition challenging scheme the announcement of the scheme has caused nationwide 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'.
A PIL in this regards also sought quashing of the Centre's notification for the Agnipath scheme saying the scheme is "illegal and unconstitutional".
The Union Cabinet on June 14, 2022 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. Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. The Agnipath Scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. (ANI)

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