Govt says it is firm on its stand, will move Supreme Court
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday put a stay order on the Haryana government’s law providing 75% reservation for the state domicile in the private sectors.
Bench of Justice Ajay Tiwari and Justice Pankaj Jain stayed the order following a petition filed by three business associations from Faridabad, Gurugram and Rewari challenging the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020.
According to the government notification on January 15, 2022, the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, aims to provide 75% reservation to the local candidates in private sectors. The salary range offered is often less than Rs 30,000. The law was applicable to all the companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms and so on but excluded the central government, the state government or the firms owned by either of them.
The petition challenged the act as being unconstitutional and violating Article 14, Article 15 and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. It also said that the new law violated the fundamental notion of merit that underpins private sector growth. Challenging the act, the plea stated, “The Act purports to effectively provide for reservation in private employment and represents an unprecedented intrusion by the government into the fundamental rights of private employers to carry out their business and trade, as provided under Article 19 and the restrictions being placed upon such a right are not reasonable but are arbitrary, capricious, excessive and uncalled for.”
This interim order is a relief for businesses in the state that fear the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, may have an impact on their future operations and investments.
Additional Advocate General of Haryana Jagbir Singh Malik stated that the state would file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court against the order.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala tweeted, “We will continue to fight for employment opportunities of Haryanvi youth #75%reservation.”
Chief Minister Manohar Lal said that though the matter of giving 75% reservation to the youth of Haryana in the private sector has been stayed in the High Court for the time being, the government will firmly stand its ground and will fight in the court. “Even when the law of educated panchayat was implemented in Haryana, the High Court had imposed a stay. After this, the decision was not in our favour but we won the case in the Supreme Court. Later, it was implemented. Will also fight on the law of 75% reservation and will go to the Supreme Court if needed.”
It was a key promise of the JJP, an alliance partner of BJ, to implement 75% reservation in the private sector for the youth and was an essential part of the manifesto in 2019 Assembly elections.
Leaders of opposition took a dig at the BJP-JJP government saying that the ruling faction failed to provide job opportunities to the youth during its regime and there were several loopholes in the act left by the government intentionally. While giving reaction on the issue, Congress leader Kumari Selja said: “The government has failed entirely to present the case strongly in the court which led to a stay on the act. The ongoing scenario also clearly shows the BJP-JJP led government continues to put the youth of the Haryana in a state of disparity.”