High court stays Haryana law on 75% job quota in private sector

Latest News

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday stayed the Haryana law providing 75% reservation in industries to youngsters with domicile of the state.

The matter was taken up by the bench of justice Ajay Tewari and justice Pankaj Jain and it passed the stay order. A detailed judgment is awaited, said counsel Tushar Sharma.

Law against merit, say industries

The pleas against the law were filed by industry bodies, including the Gurgaon Industrial Association.

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, came into force from January 15. It provides for 75% reservation to local youngsters in private sector jobs that offered a monthly salary of less than ₹30,000. It covers private companies, societies, trusts and partnership firms.

The law will be applicable for 10 years.

The industry bodies had argued that the law is against the provisions of the Constitution and also against the basic principle of meritocracy that was the foundation for businesses to grow and remain competitive. It will affect the industry productivity and industrial competitiveness and post-Covid 19 recovery of industry, the pleas said, adding that the government by introducing this policy of “son of the soils” want to create reservation in the private sector, which is an infringement of constitutional rights of the employees and citizens of India because private sector jobs are based on the skills and analytical bent of mind of employees.

Step to provide right to employment: Govt

The government, on the other hand had argued that the law merely makes “geographical classification”, which is permitted under the Constitution. “It is to protect the right to life/livelihood of people domiciled in the state and to protect their health, living condition and their right to employment,” it said.

The legislation enacted by the state is on a subject which squarely falls within its legislative domain, it had argued adding that it was enacted in the compelling situation of increasing unemployment.

“Industrialisation and urbanisation in the state has led to huge land acquisition which resultantly has reduced growth and employment opportunities in the agriculture sector,” the government said, adding that the law nowhere discriminates any person on the ground of place of birth or residence but it provides employment to local candidates on the basis of domicile.

“There is a distinction between the expression ‘place of birth’ and the expression ‘domicile’, both reflect two concepts. Reservation on the basis of ‘place of birth’ would definitely be hit by the provisions of the Constitution of India but employment on the basis of ‘domicile’ does not,” the government had submitted.

Unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny

Ever since the private sector quota law was conceptualised by the BJP-JJP regime in Haryana, Hindustan Times was the first to report the legal implications of the law and why it was unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny.

Legal experts said the law is in contravention of the Constitution and will not withstand judicial scrutiny. Former Haryana advocate general Ashok Aggarwal said domicile can never form the basis of employment. He said if public employment cannot be given on the basis of domicile how can private jobs be. The government is not the employer in private sector jobs, he said. He added that only a small percentage of low-end jobs can be reserved and that too for special reasons.

While tabling the Bill in the state assembly, the government had modified its Section 23 to provide the law an overriding effect on any other state law. The same provision provided an overriding effect to the law over any other law when an ordinance was approved by the cabinet. Since the provision had the potential to be repugnant to an Act of Parliament, its wording was changed in the Bill.

However, issues raised by the law and legislative secretary during vetting of the proposed law still holds good, the experts said.

The clause providing for preference in jobs to the local candidates domiciled in Haryana, they said, was in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution pertaining to equality before the law and Article 19 (1)(g) which provides for protection of certain rights to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Source Link

Leave a Reply