New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred the petitions challenging the Agnipath military recruitment scheme to the Delhi High Court, observing that the increasing number of petitions in the matter is neither “desirable or justified”.
The top court also asked the High Courts of Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand to transfer the PILs against the ‘Agneepath scheme’ to the Delhi High Court. The bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna said, “In our view, multiplicity of writ petitions on the subject will not be desirable or proper.” The court also explored the option of bringing all petitions to the Supreme Court but said, “Adopting such a course would deprive us of the view of the high courts.”
The court said it would be appropriate to take advantage of the expert opinion of the Delhi High Court on petitions challenging the Centre’s ‘Agneepath scheme’. The top court directed the Centre to place a copy of its order before the Registrar (Judicial) of the high courts where similar matters are pending so that the Chief justices of the concerned high courts to pass necessary orders in terms of the SC order.
On June 21, an application was filed on behalf of the Central Government in the Supreme Court that the government’s side should also be heard before passing the order on the petitions challenging the Agneepath scheme.
Today the Supreme Court heard the arguments of both the sides and transferred all the petitions to the Delhi High Court for hearing. On June 14, The Agnipath scheme, announced provides for the recruitment of youth between the age of 17-and-a-half and 21 years for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. Protests had erupted in several states against the scheme. Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment this year.