Police personnel patrol the Charbagh Railway Station in the wake of Bharat Bandh called to protest against the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme for Armed Forces (ANI)

NEW DELHI: In the latest development after the announcement of Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces that saw nation-wide protests, the Central government on Tuesday filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court urging it to hear before the court passes an order.
Announced by the defence ministry on June 14, the Agnipath scheme provides for the recruitment of soldiers into the army, navy and the air force followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits. The recruitment is for youths between the age bracket of 17.5 to 21 for four years with the provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022.
Need young forces for ‘battle of future’: NSA Ajit Doval
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Tuesday that in the future we are headed towards a scenario where there will be contactless wars against invisible enemies and the country needs a young fit and agile army for that.
“The whole war is undergoing a great change. We are going toward contactless wars and also going towards the war against the invisible enemy. Technology is taking over at a rapid pace. If we have to prepare for tomorrow, then we have to change,” Doval said in an interview to ANI.
The NSA said that security is a dynamic concept and it cannot remain static. “Technology is taking over at a rapid pace. If we have to prepare for tomorrow, then we have to change,” he said. “Agnipath is not a standalone scheme in itself. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, one of his prime priorities was how to make India secure and strong. That required many avenues, many steps – multitude of them.”
Centre files caveat in SC
The Central government on Tuesday filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court urging it to hear the government in the petitions filed before it. A Caveat application is filed by a litigant to ensure that no adverse order is passed against him or her without being heard.
Advocate ML Sharma had filed the PIL seeking quashing of the Centre’s notification saying that the scheme was illegal and unconstitutional. “Quash the notification/press note dated June 14, issued by the Defense Ministry being illegal, unconstitutional and void ab-initio and ultra vires to the Constitution of India in the interest of justice,” the PIL stated.
Advocate Harsh Ajay Singh had also filed a PIL seeking directions to the Centre to reconsider its Agnipath recruitment scheme for armed forces. The plea said, “announcement of the scheme has caused nation-wide protest in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and various other states due to the short-term duration of the scheme in the Indian Army for four years coupled with future uncertainties of the trained Agniveers.” The advocate also sought a stay on the implementation of the scheme from June 24, 2022.
SC asks petitioner to mention plea seeking urgent hearing on petition
A petition has been moved in the SC seeking directions to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to enquire about the violent protest that erupted against the scheme and to enquire about the damage caused to the public property, including Railways.
On Tuesday, a vacation bench of Justices CT Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia asked the petitioner-in-person and advocate Vishal Tiwari to mention his plea seeking an urgent hearing on the petition to set up a SIT enquiry.
The petition said that it would like to bring the Court’s attention to the devastating condition of the country resulting from the Agnipath scheme launched by the Centre. “The consequence has been far-reaching for the citizens of this country resulting in intensified vandalism and protest leading to severe destruction of public property and goods. This Writ Petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India is in the interest of the public at large and to enforce the fundamental rights of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution,” said the petition.
The petitioner cited various incidents of violence that took place in different parts of the country. “Such arbitrary and experimental scheme has created havoc in the country with no response from the Respondents, such reluctance and non-action from the concerned governments have led to widespread damage of public good and properties which have been ultimately raised through public money,” stated the petition.
It further said, “The Rule of Law is at stake and there has been a severe violation of the fundamental right to life of people against the mala fide and arbitrary scheme of the government resulting in such havoc. This situation requires immediate judicial intervention.”
Haryana CM promises ‘guaranteed’ employment to Agniveers after 4 years
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Tuesday that the Haryana government will provide “guaranteed” employment to ‘Agniveers’ after their four year stint in the armed forces. His statement comes even as the state, like several other parts of the country, is witnessing massive protests over the scheme.
Addressing a state-level International Yoga Day function at Bhiwani, Khattar said, “I announce that anyone (the Agniveers) who wants to join Haryana government services, they will be given a guaranteed job, no one will go without a job. We take guarantee for this.” The chief minister said the ‘Agniveers’ will be absorbed in the state’s Group C services and in the police force.
Varanasi to make Agnipath vandals pay for loss; 425 held
Varanasi DM Kaushal Raj Sharma said during the June 17 protest, 36 UPSRTC buses had been damaged and the value of the losses was assessed to be Rs 12,97,439. Even as the number of arrests for protests against Agnipath recruitment scheme rose to 425 in Varanasi, officials started the process of realising the cost of damage to public properties from the arrested accused.
ADG, Varanasi zone Ram Kumar and Sharma appealed to aspirants not to get misled and indulge in protests. “This will spoil their chance of selection in government jobs in future,” they said.
With agency inputs

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