It has been a month since the state governor assented to Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill-2016, providing for 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to Jats and five other castes. The state government, however, is yet to notify the quota Act to make it operational even though it has notified 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. Both the quota bill and Haryana Backward Classes Commission Bill were passed by Haryana assembly on March 29.
The reservation for Jats can come into effect only after a formal notification in this regard is issued by the law secretary. Besides, the state government’s move to grant immunity to quota law from judicial review could only be set in motion after the law gets notified.
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) national president Yashpal Malik told HT that it was surprising that government was dithering on notifying the quota law. “We will hold a dharna at Delhi on May 10 to protest against this,’’ Malik said.
After the quota Bill got Governor’s assent on April 1, the Haryana 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. The grounds taken by the state government was that since it has withdrawn the SBC quota notification, the petition has become infructuous.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. A petition to the court becomes infructuous when the fundamental premise upon which the petition is based ceases to exist. 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.
WHY THE DELAY
While there seems to be no apparent reason for delaying the notification, sources said that since the recruitment process for several posts, including 2,000 women and ex-servicemen in police constabulary, junior engineers, Haryana Civil Services (HCS) and allied services, was on, the state government probably wanted the process to get over before notifying the new law to avoid any further legal complication. However, a top government functionary said: “There can’t be any modification in the reservation policy retrospectively. It is a settled position in law.’’