Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud told a petitioner against the Armed Forces Center’s Agnipath recruiting program on Tuesday that “you may be a vire but you are not an Agniveer.”
Lawyer ML Sharma, who had moved the supreme court challenging the constitutional validity of the Agnipath regime, argued vehemently that he was the first to move the court against the regime. In a lighthearted vein, Judge Chandrachud told Sharma: “You are not aggrieved. You filed a PIL. Not a potential Agniveer. You may be a tacker but you are not an Agniveer.”
Judge Chandrachud pointed out that Sharma was not an aggrieved party in the case and instead filed a public interest plea.
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Justice Chandrachud said there was a petition related to the scheme in the Delhi High Court. “We can benefit from the High Court’s reasoning in this case. We will benefit from the High Court’s perspective,” he said.
Sharma maintained that there were 20 high courts and all petitioners would reach each high court. “I had filed the first plea here and after that they went to the High Court. Possibly at the request of the defendant,” he said.
The higher court was hearing three separate pleas filed by Sharma, Harsh Ajay Singh and Ravindra Singh Shekhawat. After hearing the arguments, the higher court transferred all claims against the scheme to the Delhi High Court. The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna, requested the High Courts of Kerala, Punjab and Haryana, Patna and Uttarakhand to transfer the claims against the project pending before them to the High Court. of Delhi or hold them in abeyance until the Delhi High Court. The court decides on the matter, if the applicants so wish.
The bench noted that the multiplicity of written petitions on the subject would be undesirable and that the pan-India issue does not mean that the highest court should hear it, but rather any of the high courts can also hear it , and this was done earlier.
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He favored that petitions pending in other high courts can also be taken to the Delhi High Court to avoid inconsistent rulings. The high court said that if a PIL is filed in the future on the same matter, challenging the Agnipath program notified by the Center on June 14, the relevant high courts would also give it the same option.
Justice Chandrachud said, “We must have a thoughtful view of a high court. The jurisdiction of the high court under Section 226 of the Constitution should not lose its importance.”
The high court said that the other high courts, where similar petitions are pending, would give the petitioners the option of transferring the case to the Delhi High Court or moving the Delhi High Court as intervenor .
Sharma’s plea read: “According to the disputed press note… dated 14.06.2022 after 4 years out of 100% of the candidates selected for the Indian Army Standing Commission, 25% will be retained in the Indian Army Force and the rest 75% will be withdrawn/denied from jobs in the Indian Army, for 4 years they will get salary and benefits but after 4 years the refused applicants will not get any pension etc.
Another brief petition has been filed by a group of people shortlisted for the selection of Airmen in the Indian Air Force, who were seeking an instruction that the recruitment process which had started in previous years should be completed. regardless of the Agnipath program.