Two days after the Haryana Cabinet cleared a proposal to draft an ordinance for reserving 75 per cent private sector jobs for state residents, it has emerged that the state’s Law Secretary had informed the state government in advance that the proposal “may not withstand” legal scrutiny. The opinion was conveyed to the state government by the Legal Remembrancer-cum-Law Secretary despite the state’s Advocate General (AG) Baldev Raj Mahajan backing the proposal. However, the Law Department, which is headed by the Law Secretary, later suggested that the state can “proceed as per AG’s opinion”.
The Law Secretary is the top-most legal officer of the state government, and normally, a sessions judge-level judicial officer is appointed to the assignment. The AG is a Cabinet-rank holding government functionary.
In her opinion to the government, the Law Secretary said: “The proposed ordinance whereby 75 per cent jobs in companies, societies, trusts, partnership firms situated in Haryana with salary structure of up to Rs 50,000 per month are proposed to be reserved for residents of Haryana may not withstand the scrutiny of law being violative of Article 14, 19 (1) (g) and 21 of Constitution of India.”
She added, “It would be necessary to obtain the instruction of the President of India for the promulgation of the proposed ordinance in view of proposed Clause 23 of the draft ordinance which gives overriding effect over other laws”.
However, the state’s BJP-JJP government moved ahead with the proposal as the state Advocate General (AG) Baldev Raj Mahajan gave his consent to the proposal.
A senior government official told The Indian Express that the state’s Law Department too later suggested that the government “may proceed in the matter as per the advice tendered by the…AG Haryana”.
In his opinion to the government, the AG said, “The proposed measure would not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of India including those relating to fundamental rights.”
Speaking to The Indian Express Wednesday, Mahajan confirmed that he had agreed with the proposal.
He said: “The state can impose conditions when it offers facilities including permission to establish industry and offers subsidy. In these circumstances, the state can ask the industries to employ local people in their establishments. However, there can’t be any discrimination in imposing such conditions.” Mahajan added that the proposal is for the jobs in the private sector not for the government jobs.
The 75 per cent reservation to Haryana residents in private jobs was the main poll promise of the Jannayak Janata Party ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections.
Senior JJP leader and Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Dushyant Chautala, said: “No one among those already employed will lose their job with the state government’s decision to provide jobs to 75 per cent of the local youth in private companies…This will only apply to appointments made after the notification is issued in this regard.”
According to Chautala, the main objective of the Haryana government is to make the youth of the state more skilled and employable. He said that the proposal for drafting ‘Haryana State Local Candidates Employment Ordinance, 2020’ has been approved in the Cabinet meeting, for providing employment to 75 per cent of the local candidates in private companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms and partnership firms at salaries of less than Rs 50,000 of per month in new jobs.
Chautala added that if suitable local candidates are not available for a particular category of industry, then a provision will be made to allow the Labour Commissioner to have outside candidates so that the industry can get candidates according to their requirement.
“The people who already work in the industries of the state do not have any reason to panic. The draft of the ordinance meant to give 75 per cent of the jobs to the local youth in the private sector will be first sent to the approval in the next Cabinet meeting, then in the Vidhan Sabha, then to the Governor and then to the President. Then a notification will be issued by the state government. This law will be applicable only for the jobs being advertised thereafter,” he said
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