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Agnipath scheme: Candidates shortlisted for IAF move Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court has received a petition by various candidates who have been shortlisted as Airmen in Indian Air Force seeking issuance of enrolment list and completion of previous recruitment as per a 2019 notification, without being affected by Centre’s new Agnipath recruitment scheme for armed forces.

The petition was deferred for two weeks on Tuesday, by the division bench comprising of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Saurabh Banarjee in view of the pendency of a similar matter before the Supreme Court, which is coming up for hearing next week.

Prashant Bhushan, has filed a plea on behalf of has been moved by 20 candidates who were  awaiting their enrollment as Airmen in Indian Air Force in Group “X” trades (except education instructor trade) and Group “Y” trades (except automobile technician, Indian Air Force (Security), Indian Air Force (Police),musician trades).

The plea seeks for direction to publish the enrollment list in terms of the 2019 notification and consequently issue appointment letters to the petitioners. The plea clearly asks for a direction that the 2019 notification shall remain unaffected by the Agnipath Scheme.

As per the plea the enrollment list containing names of selected candidates had to be published on July 10, 2021, however, the same was not published. As per the plea various statements were issued by the Central Airmen Selection Board on their official website stating that there was a delay in declaration of result on account of COVID and administrative reasons.

Post that the Centre has introduced the new Agnipath Scheme this year on June 24, 2022 after which the Air Force had invited application for various posts. The contention point is that posts covered under the 2019 recruitment notification also feature in the Agnipath scheme.

The plea also talks about the act of conducting and completing the whole new selection process and cancelling the previous recruitment for the same post is discriminatory and arbitrary and thus, is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The reason the petitioners are so upset that they has applied for the post with a legitimate expectation that their result would be declared and consequently be appointed if they are considered fit for the for the posts but it does not seem to see the day light.

The plea also argues that  the cancellation of the recruitment process is wholly illegal, arbitrary as well as violative of the rights of the petitioners guaranteed under Article 16(1) of the Constitution of India.

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