The Delhi High Court on Monday upheld the constitutional validity of the Agnipath scheme for entry into the Indian Armed Forces..A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said that the scheme was introduced in national interest and dismissed a bunch of petitions challenging the Central government's scheme."This court finds no reason to interfere with the scheme. All petitions are dismissed. We can conclude that the scheme was introduced in national interest," the Court said.The Court also dismissed the petitions challenging the halt on recruitment processes. "No promissory estoppel or legitimate expectation was created by the advertisements for recruitment," the bench said.The court had reserved its verdict in the matter on December 15, 2022. A detailed judgment is awaited. .Agnipath scheme is considered to be one of the most far-reaching reforms in the armed forces and its introduction had led to protests in several parts of the country by the candidates preparing to join the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force.The scheme proposes to induct youth temporarily into the defence forces for a period of four years. Such youth will be known as Agniveer. After this period, out of the selected candidates, only 25 per cent will be allowed absorbed into regular service of the armed forces while the rest will be retired. The period of service as Agniveer will not be counted as regular service on joining the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force.That is, once an Agniveer joins the armed forces after completion of four years, it will be considered as fresh recruitment..Several petitions were filed in High Courts across the country challenging the scheme as well as halt on the recruitment processes, applications for which were invited before Agnipath was announced. The Supreme Court later transferred all these matters to the Delhi High Court..During the arguments, the Delhi High Court was told that Agnipath Scheme came into the picture only in June 2021, and that was when a decision was taken to put all other recruitment processes on hold.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati appeared for the Central government and said that the scheme was finalised only in June 2022, when it was notified in the Official Gazette.She further said that Agnipath is one of the biggest policy changes in defence recruitment, and was going to be paradigm shift in the way the Armed Forces recruit personnel."More than 10 lakh aspirants have taken advantage of the two-year age relaxation given by us... A lot of things we cannot say on affidavit but we have acted in bona fide manner," the ASG concluded..However, advocate Prashant Bhushan challenged the government's assertions, saying that the government did not stop all recruitment in June 2021 and that some of the recruitment processes were held even in August 2021 and February 2022..The Central government had earlier filed a consolidated reply to the petitions, stating that Agnipath will make the forces young and recruits who exit after their tenure will prove to be nationalist, disciplined and skilled.The government said that an analysis of the existing structure of 'below officer' rank divisions in the Indian Armed Forces showed that the average age of a personnel was 32 years, while globally, it was only around 26 years. The Armed Forces’ retention policy under which a jawan, sailor or airman serves between 15 to 20 years, is the main reason for it, it was submitted..Read detailed story on arguments here.