The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the central government to clarify its stance on the 25% Agniveren who are eligible to extend their four-year terms of office. This after counsel appearing for a petitioner said: “The scheme says that after 4 years they will retain 25% of the recruits and this 25% will be retained for another 4 years and the officer’s last 4 years will not be counted. “
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad heard a series of pleas challenging the Agnipath army recruitment plan.
The Supreme Court on Monday began hearing arguments in the series of petitions challenging the scheme. The counsel who appeared for one of the petitioners argued that the scheme does not include pension provision while they have a package of Rs 30,000 per month and at the end it will be 40,000. In addition, it was argued that the plea is for a reconsideration of the scheme.
It was further argued that the basis of the scheme comes from places like the United States of America, Russia, Germany and China, while none of these states state that there is no pension.
The bank was told that these Agniveers would get LIC coverage of Rs 48 lakh, which is less than what everyone else gets employed. “After 4 years when they are done, they get nothing. They will be on the front line and the medical coverage they will get is only for 4 years,” the petition read.
It was also argued that the Home Office had previously announced that those who will not be included may be eligible to join the Central Reserve Police, but nothing is yet known about how this will be done.
The court then asked the petitioner’s counsel on what grounds they requested the court to direct the central government to reconsider the scheme. In view of the above, the court was informed that reconsideration has been sought on grounds of tenure, uncertainty, absorption, etc.
Colonel Amit Kumar, a petitioner who appeared in person, argued that when the schemes are put in place, there is a requirement for the officers’ feedback. The Indian Army is taught to fight against anything put before them. “Weapons require specialization for 6 months, then they must prepare for all 4 climates, all terrains, which is difficult in this case due to the short tenure of only 4 years,” the petition reads.
Counsel appearing for another petitioner argued that another aspect is that officers fight for their people. “You move with the unit for 10 years, you earn respect and you fight for respect, how will the sense of belonging come about in this case?” the petition reads.
After hearing the arguments, the bank gave the central government time to seek instructions on extending the term of office of the 25% Agniveers and listed the matter for further hearing on 14 December.
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