The constitution of Haryana Backward Classes Commission has cleared the way for notifying Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016. Officials told HT the 10% reservation for Jats and five other castes in government jobs and educational institutions will come into effect only after the law secretary issues a notification next week.
Jat organisations were getting edgy over the delay in the notification of the quota law with All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti deciding to hold a dharna on May 10.
But sources said the state government did not notify the quota Bill passed by the state assembly on March 29 and assented to by the governor on April 1 as the bill was expected to be challenged in a court of law as soon as it was notified.
The government instead chose to first notify the Haryana Backward Classes Commission Act, 2016, to set up a permanent statutory mechanism for examining requests of inclusion and complaints of over-exclusion and under-inclusion of backward classes. And on Friday, the government constituted a four-member commission under the chairmanship of a former judge, Justice SN Aggarwal.
The thought behind constituting the Backward Classes Commission first and then notifying the quota law is that once the quota law is challenged in the courts, the state government will take a plea that since it had set up a commission to examine requests of inclusion of backward classes, the matter should be referred to the commission.
The state government on May 5 also dissolved the existing Haryana Backward Classes Commission headed by Justice KC Gupta which was constituted in 2011 and on whose recommendation the previous Congress government granted 10 % special backward classes quota (SBC) to Jats and five other castes.
After the quota Bill got the governor’s assent on April 1, the state government filed a civil miscellaneous application in Punjab and Haryana High court, seeking dismissal of a writ petition challenging the Special Backward Classes (SBC) quota. It argued that since it had withdrawn the SBC quota notification, the petition had become infructuous.
The HC subsequently on April 12 dismissed the petition, thus clearing the decks for state government to notify the newly enacted law to grant 10% reservation to Jats and five other castes.
The HC, however, granted liberty to petitioners to file a fresh petition in case reservations was again provided to the five castes or any of them.
The HC had in July 2015 restrained the state government from giving any employment in government service and admission in educational institution on the basis of SBC quota.