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Another petition in Supreme Court challenging Agnipath Scheme

New Delhi: Another petition has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the Agnipath scheme whereby the petitioner has sought direction to Centre to reconsider it.

The petition has been filed by Ravindra Singh Shekhawat through advocate Rohit Pandey. The petitioner said that the introduction of Agnipath- Agniveer Scheme 2022 comes as an abrupt and unforeseeable change in the recruitment process of the aspiring candidates which concerns the petitioner as well.
The petitioner claimed to be an ex-serviceman of the Indian Army and said that he is involved in social work and the welfare of soldiers for the past many years.

According to the petition, The Agnipath Agniveer Bharti Scheme 2022 has been introduced in
the public domain on June 14th, 2022 by the Indian Government, Department of Ministry of Defence in presence of their respective Chiefs of Indian Armed Forces. The scheme is called Agnipath and the youths selected in this scheme will be called Agniveers.

The petition added that the scheme lays emphasis on reducing the median age of Indian Soldiers from 32 years to 26 years in the upcoming seven years. Moreover, the scheme is also projected to reduce the Defence Ministry's expenditure on pensions and salaries and utilise it in technologically updating the Indian Armed Forces. Under the new scheme, around 46,000 soldiers between the age group of 17.5 and 21 years will be recruited in all the forces. The upper age limit has been relaxed from 21 years to 23 years as a one-time measure for the Recruiting-Year 2022-23.

The petition said that the scheme has attracted a lot of negative light due to its unclear provisions and limited social and employment security provided to the non-commissioned soldiers.
Therefore, the petitioner has urged the top court to issue direction to the Centre to reconsider or recall or review or quash the notification dated June 14, 2022. The petition also urged the top court to direct the respondents to constitute a committee of Veterans, the Chief of all the Armed Forces and other appropriate persons which the respondents deem fit to look into the proposed scheme thereby amending the policy in consonance with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

The petition also urged for direction to the respondents to initiate a 'Pilot Project', to study the cause and effect of the Agnipath Scheme, the impact of the newly introduced training process on combat effectiveness, operational readiness and defence preparedness.

It also sought direction from the respondents to secure 100 per cent job employment for the "Agniveers" who will be discharged from the services after a period of 4 years.
Yesterday, a vacation bench agreed to list next week's petition challenging the Agnipath scheme before an appropriate bench.

On Monday a counsel mentioned in Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing of the petition challenging Agnipath Scheme saying that career of several students at stake.
Advocate ML Sharma, who had also filed the petition has said that his plea is about the cancellation of the notification.

Various petitions have been filed over the Agnipath scheme.
One was filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, seeking directions to set up a Special Investigation Team to enquire about the violent protest that erupted against the "Agnipath" scheme launched by the Central Government and to enquire about the damage caused to public property including Railways.

His petition has also sought directions to set up An expert committee under the Chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to examine the Scheme "Agnipath" and its impact on National security and the Army of our nation.
Agnipath Scheme, which was approved by the cabinet on June 14, was launched in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing criticism, the Centre decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.

As protests against the Agnipath scheme continued, the Department of Military Affairs on June 21 clarified that there is no change in the recruitment process and the regimental process will be unchanged. (ANI)

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