THE VACATION bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday refused to vacate the stay granted by its regular bench on May 26 on the Haryana government’s decision to grant 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to Jats, Jat Sikhs, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi, Mulla Jat or Muslim Jat under the newly created Backward Class ‘C’ category.
Adjourning the case to June 13, the vacation bench comprising Justices Daya Chaudhary and Arun Palli said “nothing is going to happen within a day. You are not going to be prejudiced”. The court directed all the parties in the case to file their replies by June 10 and made it clear that no adjournment would be granted on the next date of hearing.
It was on May 26 that the High Court, while hearing a public interest litigation filed by a Bhiwani resident Murari Lal Gupta, had stayed the implementation of the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Service and admission in Educational Institution) Act, 2016, and directed the state to file its response by July 21. But the Haryana government had, on June 2, filed an application for vacation of stay citing “urgency” in the matter.
Appearing for Haryana government, senior Supreme Court advocate and former MP from Rajasthan Jagdeep Dhankar on Monday requested the court to vacate “ex-parte interim stay”.
He argued that the stay should be vacated by the court subject to the outcome of the case “looking into the enormity of consequences it would have”. But the court said it would have to first give chance to all parties to file their replies so that proper arguments are heard before reaching any conclusion.
As the case came up for hearing before the vacation bench, Justice Chaudhary said, “Since the interim order is by a regular bench, it has to be heard by a regular bench after vacation.” On this, Dhankar, assisted by Haryana Additional Advocate General Lokesh Sinhal, argued, “Regular bench (on June 2) appreciated our anxiety and urgency. Therefore, short date was fixed for June 6. Other party has filed the reply. Kindly consider, as delaying tactics should not be adopted.”
The senior counsel added if there is merit in petitioner’s case, he would win the case. Dhankar also submitted that the court should also look into the bonafide of the petitioner as the single judge bench had earlier pointed it out.
The petitioner has challenged the constitutional validity of Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016, passed by the Haryana legislative assembly on March 29.
The Act provides 10 per cent reservation in service for Class III and IV posts and six per cent reservation in Class I and II posts to the Jat, Jat Sikhs, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi, Mulla Jat or Muslim Jat in Schedule III. A number of other petitions were also filed later in the court challenging the reservation quota.