The Center filed a reservation with the Supreme Court and called for it to be heard before the court makes any ruling on the petitions against Agnipat scheme.
The Agnipath scheme, announced June 14, enrolls young people aged 17.5 to 21 for four years, with 25 percent of them retained for another 15 years. Protests against the scheme erupted in several states.
The government later raised the upper age limit for employment to 23 in 2022.
Meanwhile, a new petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday demanding a referral to the Center to revise the Agnipath scheme.
Application filed by Harsh Ajay Singh who is an attorney, sought direction to set up a committee to provide materials to the Department of War, the Department of Defense, and to receive proposals, including from retired Army officers, for amendments to the scheme to provide job opportunities for up to 75 percent of Agniveers after retirement .
“It is respectfully indicated that the applicant is sincerely concerned about the maintenance of law and order in the country and is interested in the opinion of the youth of the country, whose future is at stake,” said the statement, filed through Kumud’s lawyer Lata Das.
It says the scheme is to be implemented from 24 June and the announcement of the Agnipath scheme sparked nationwide protests in various states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal due to the short duration of four years combined with “The Future Uncertainties of Trained Agniveers”.
The petition claimed it was a “half-finished reform” with many ramifications. “There are various shortcomings in this reform, and with further discussion, it would be implemented as the best reform,” the report says.
It argued that there was a strong possibility that Agnivers trained under this scheme would go astray, and four years of recruitment was not enough to instill values and spirit in a young brigade of the Indian armed forces.
The Applicant also sought to stop the implementation of the scheme. Earlier, two motions were filed in this regard with the Court of Appeal. One of the petitions called for the creation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate damage to public property, including railroads, and violent protests against the Agnipath Center scheme.
The statement asks the Center and the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan to report on the progress of the violent protests.
He also sought direction to set up an expert committee, chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge, to study the scheme and its impact on national security and the military.
Another petition filed in the supreme court against the Agnipath Center scheme claimed that the government had canceled a century-old military selection process that was against constitutional provisions and had not been approved by parliament.
The application seeks to rescind the June 14 notice/press release claiming it is illegal and unconstitutional.