The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred PILs pending before it challenging the Centre’s Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces to the Delhi High Court.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and A S Bopanna also asked the High Courts of Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand to transfer the PILs pending before them against the scheme to the Delhi High Court or keep it pending till a decision from the Delhi High Court, if the petitioners before it so desire.
The bench said petitioners before the four high courts can also opt to intervene in the proceedings before the Delhi High Court.
The top court said it is transferring the pleas as it would be appropriate if it has benefit of the Delhi High Court’s considered view on them.
It asked the Delhi High Court to consider all the transferred PILs along with the pleas which are already pending before it expeditiously on this issue.
The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, 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.