Published: 05th July 2022
Fire against Agnipath Scheme still burns! Fresh plea filed in SC by ex-serviceman
The Agnipath Scheme, which has received major backlash in the recent past, now receives a fresh plea in the Supreme Court. The petition was served by ex-serviceman Ravindra Singh Shekhawat and has sought quashing of the notification issued by the Ministry of Defence, contending it as illegal, unconstitutional, and ultra vires to the rights guaranteed under the Constitution, as stated in a report by PTI.
Stating the lapses in the scheme, the plea stated, "The abrupt changes in the recruitment process have evoked several unforeseeable circumstances for the aspirants and have put their futures at stake in the dark. The scheme fails to accommodate the individuals who have been preparing for the armed forces for the last many years and have not been able to participate in the recruitment process due to a lack of vacancies due to COVID-19."
Further, it read that the aspirants' future is endangered as those who have already cleared the rigorous process of armed forces once are being compelled to start afresh again under the Agnipath Scheme. Filed by advocate Rohit Pandey, the plea further highlighted, "There is no assurance if these individuals will qualify for the Agnipath scheme and despite years of hard work and qualifying for the exam, no fruitful purpose has been served to these candidates."
To examine the current scheme, the plea sought for directing a committee of veterans, the Chief of all the Armed Forces and other appropriate persons to look into this matter. Additionally, it also sought the direction to initiate a 'Pilot Project' to study the cause and effect of the Agnipath Scheme and the impact of the newly introduced training process on combat effectiveness, operational readiness and defence preparedness.
To recollect what happened earlier, the Agnipath Scheme was announced on June 14, 2022, providing recruitment of youths between the age of 17.5 and 21 years for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. With severe backlash and protests that erupted in many states, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022, as stated in a report by PTI.