Haryana private sector job quota: Ball in governor’s court after law secretary, advocate general give divergent opinions
The move is piloted by Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party, the coalition partner of the BJP in the state, which had made a poll commitment to provide 75% quota in private sector jobs to local candidateUpdated: Jul 25, 2020 10:16 IST
Chandigarh: In view of the divergent opinions of the law secretary and the advocate general, the proposed ordinance that provides for 75% reservation in private sector jobs in Haryana has been sent by the state cabinet to governor Satyadeo Narain Arya for approval.
The cabinet’s nod was taken by way of the circulation of the memorandum of the proposed law.
The law secretary or legal remembrancer (LR) calls for the assent of the President on the proposed legislation, while the advocate general says the proposed law does not require presidential assent.
The proposed law was vetted twice by the law secretary after cabinet deliberations on January 31 and July 6.
THREE OPTIONS BEFORE THE GOVERNOR
Article 213 of the Constitution empowers the governor to promulgate an ordinance with respect to any matter within the legislative competence of the state legislature, if necessary, after obtaining instructions from the President.
The Haryana governor, who has the arduous task of taking a call on the proposed legislation, has primarily three options – to go with the advice of the advocate general and give his assent for promulgation of the ordinance, thus, putting the law into effect; second, to return the proposed law with a message for reconsideration to the cabinet; and third, reserve it for the President’s consideration.
The proposed law, if reserved for the consideration of the President, will go through the scrutiny of central ministries before the President takes a call.
PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT REQUIRED OR NOT?
Officials say the law secretary’s opinion on reserving the proposed law for consideration of the President is primarily based on two counts.
“There is a provision in the proposed law that gives it an overriding effect over other laws. Such a broad provision has the potential to be repugnant to an Act of Parliament or an existing law and thereby needs presidential assent. Another provision providing for preference in jobs to local candidates domiciled in Haryana seemingly is also in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution pertaining to equality before law,: said an official familiar with the developments.
Referring to the advice tendered by him, advocate general BR Mahajan, however, said the proposed Haryana law did not violate any central law. “It also does not come in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution,” Mahajan said.
PILOTED BY DUSHYANT, BJP NOT SO KEEN
Haryana’s move to introduce reservation for local youngsters in private sector jobs is on the lines of a law enacted by the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh that has been challenged on the grounds of constitutional validity in the Andhra Pradesh high court.
The move is piloted by Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party, the coalition partner of the BJP in Haryana, which had made a poll commitment to provide 75% quota in private sector jobs to local candidates.
The proposed law has not found much support from the BJP. In fact, chief minister ML Khattar had once sounded non-committal on the prospect of enacting such a law.
The BJP government at the Centre has a different view on the issue. At least two former central ministers answered in the negative to questions in Parliament about the possibility of reservation in appointments in private companies.
The proposed ordinance, Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Ordinance, 2020, provides 75% of the new employment to local candidates for jobs having salary of less than ₹50,000 a month in private companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms in the state.
Employers will have the option to recruit local candidates from one district to the extent of only 10%. The proposed law will also contain a bail-out clause for the industry if suitable local candidates are not available for a category of industry.