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A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking removal of Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar from services immediately for allegedly giving statements to electronic media, TV, and social media violating the Army Rules 1954 over Agnipath Scheme.
The plea submits, "Rule 21 states that no person who is subject to the Army Act, 1950 shall publish in any form or communicate to the press any matter in relation to a political question or on a service subject without the prior sanction of the Central Government."
The plea filed by Advocate CR Jaya Sukin further adds that the Rule also prohibits such persons from delivering a lecture, on a matter relating to a political question or on a service subject without the government’s prior sanction.
The plea has been filed referring to a news report published by ANI wherein three chiefs of Indian Defence services allegedly hailed the decision of the Central government to approve the Agnipath Scheme, a recruitment process for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces.
Plea argues, "That anger against a new Army Recruitment Agnipath Scheme has intensified across India, with crowds of protesters, specially youngsters are burning trains, blocking roads and ransacking public property to demand that the plan be rolled back, all political parties leaders, social activities and Security experts are expressing their disappointments to the Agnipath Scheme while Army chief General Manoj Pande, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar are giving statements to electronic medias, TV and social medias like politicians."
Sukin further submits that the Army Act and Army Rules lay down the manner in which personnel who are found to be acting contrary to the Rules should be dealt with. Violation of Rule 21 is punishable under Section 63 of the Army Act which prescribes a maximum sentence of seven years of imprisonment if found guilty on court-martial, his plea reads.
Case Title: CR Jaya Sukin Vs. Union of India & Ors.
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