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HC upholds Haryana’s Jat quota law, stays implementation till March 31, 2018

The Punjab and Haryana high court said the extent of reservation for Jats will be determined by the State Backward Classes Commission, which has been given time till March 31, 2018.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 23:52 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Jat reservation,Jat quota,Jaat aarakshan
File photo of Jat protesters blocking traffic on the Panipat-Rohtak national highway during their February agitation for reservation in February. (PTI)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday upheld a Haryana law ensuring 10% reservation for Jats and five other communities but stayed its implementation till a commission finalises the quantum.

Lawyers associated with the case, however, said the judgment meant the state could breach the sealing of 50% quota under ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

The top court had earlier ruled that reservation in government jobs and educational institutions must not exceed 50%.

“The high court said the extent of reservation will be determined by the State Backward Classes Commission on the basis of data submitted either by the state government or collected on its own,” additional advocate general Lokesh Sinhal said.

The commission has been given time till March 31, 2018, the period till which the quota will be suspended.

The ruling could bring relief to the Manohar Lal Khattar government, which announced the quota after Jats ran riot last year, leading to the deaths of about 30 people. Property worth crores was also damaged during the agitation that left the state paralysed for nearly two weeks.

The high court’s division bench stayed the Haryana Backward Classes (reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Act, 2016, on May 26 last year after it was challenged on the ground that the law was contrary to the basic structure of the Constitution and exceeded the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court in a 1992 case.

Haryana has notified 20% reservation to SCs, 27% to OBCs, 10% was given to Jats and five other communities under special backward class category and another 10% to economic backward persons from general category, which adds up to 67%.

Reacting to the development, All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) national president Yashpal Malik said they were disappointed with the verdict but appealed to all the members of the community to “maintain peace”.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 16:16 IST