SC to hear pleas challenging Centre’s Agnipath scheme next week
New Delhi, Jul 04: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear plea challenging Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme for recruitment in armed forces next week.
A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari said that petitions will be listed next week before an appropriate bench upon reopening of the apex court after summer vacation.
Last month, the government announced the Agnipath scheme, under which youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted into the armed forces for a four-year tenure, while 25 percent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.
The scheme, especially its feature that 75 per cent of the recruits will serve only for four years and will not enjoy benefits like regular soldiers, has sparked protests in different parts of the country amid hectic efforts by the government to assuage the youth's concerns.
Amid the protests, the central government clarified the scheme will be implemented and there is no question of a rollback.
The upper age limit was raised to 23 years, with some government departments announcing priority for Agniveers in jobs.
Those hired under the 'Agnipath' scheme will be given a one-time lumpsum of a little more than Rs 11 lakh when they end their four-year tenure. However, they do not receive any pension benefits. For most, seeking a second job is essential to support themselves and their families.
The government has announced several measures to support the 'Agniveers' after their four-year service in the armed forces under the Agnipath scheme.
The opposition has pressed for the immediate withdrawal of the recruitment plan.