The Delhi High Court has rejected petitions opposing the Agnipath programme for the enlistment of Agniveers. A Division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and including Justice Subramonium Prasad made the choice on February 27.
The panel decided to reserve the judgement after hearing the arguments made on behalf of numerous petitioners and the Central government on December 15, 2022. The court also ordered that the parties submit any written reasons they may have in order to keep the ruling on hold.
The Central Government was represented at the hearing by Aishwarya Bhati, the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG), who informed the judge that more than 10 lakh petitioners had benefited from the age relaxation. The Agnipath strategy marks a substantial paradigm shift in how defence personnel are chosen.
The Central Government informed the Delhi High Court that none of the applicants who participated in the preceding employment procedure were subjected to discrimination.
According to the Central Government, hiring into the armed forces is a crucial sovereign duty that is directly tied to preserving national security and does not have the same standing as holding a position in the government.
The Central Government is therefore legally permitted to alter the policy outlining the mode and methods/service conditions of the personnel who are to be employed in the armed forces in order to effectively and efficiently defend the security and integrity of the nation.
It was further advised that the central government’s decision to conduct recruiting under the new “Agnipath” plan is an example of a policy decision taken for the benefit of national security.
Attorney Prashant Bhushan previously argued that the government’s decision was arbitrary and unreasonable in favour of one of the petitions contesting the plan. There was no apparent rationale for the decision. He further asserted that the people whose names were on the select list had to wait an additional 2.5 years.