The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed the Haryana government’s decision to grant reservation to Jats and five other communities in jobs and educational institutions under the newly created Backward Class ‘C’ category.
The division bench comprising Justices S S Saron and Gurmit Ram passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation, and issued notice to the Haryana government to file its response by July 21.
The PIL was filed by a Bhiwani resident, Murari Lal Gupta, who challenged the constitutional validity of The Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016, passed by the assembly on March 29. The Act provides 10 per cent quota in Class III and IV posts and educational institutions and six per cent quota in Class I and II posts to Jats, Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois, Tyagis and Muslim Jats in Schedule-III.
The petititoner submitted that reservation for Jats was provided under the new Act on the basis of the Justice K C Gupta commission report, which the Supreme Court has already quashed. He further said that since the Supreme Court had earlier made it clear that Jats cannot be treated as backward, the legislature cannot pass such an Act.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mukesh Verma, submitted that the legislative exercise of enacting Schedule-III of the 2016 Act amounts to acting as an appellate authority over the Supreme Court’s decision.
The petition said the six communities, including Jats, have been declared as Backward Classes Block ‘C’ without any valid report of the backward class commission. It said the 10 per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutions, and 6 per cent in Class I and II posts, was provided in exclusion to the already notified 27 per cent quota for Backward Classes (Block A and B) and 10 per cent to Economically Backward Persons. This, it said, violates the reservation ceiling of 50 per cent imposed by the Supreme Court.