Jharkhand’s district job quota policy hits HC hurdle
A single-judge bench of the Jharkhand high court on Friday referred a matter to a division bench for deciding the constitutional validity of the state’s domicile and employment policy, 2016, which prescribes 100% reservation in grade III and grade IV government jobs for local residents in the state’s 13 scheduled districts for 10 years.
The bench of justice S Chandrashekhar also questioned the legality of an advertisement issued in 2017 for teachers’ recruitment in government-owned high schools as it followed the reservation criteria mentioned in the employment policy. It also referred to the division bench to decide the legality of the advertisement, the selection process and the results.
The bench passed the order after hearing a petition filed by one Soni Kumari who had challenged the teachers’ recruitment advertisement which restrained candidates of non-scheduled districts from applying in scheduled districts. This was done in compliance with the domicile and employment policy, she alleged.
Questioning the constitutional validity of the policy, petitioner’s advocate Lalit Kumar Singh said that under this policy, all vacancies of a particular district were reserved for candidates of the same district, thereby granting 100% reservation, which the government could not do in the light of the Supreme Court’s rulings.
According to the domicile and employment policy, which came into force on July 14, 2016, all government jobs in grade III and grade IV in 13 scheduled districts are reserved for residents of the same district and living in Jharkhand before 1985.
However, legislators cutting across the party lines had demanded that class III and class IV jobs should be reserved for local residents in non-scheduled areas also.
Considering their demands, the government had constituted a six-member committee to revisit the state domicile and employment policy. The committee, in April this year, had suggested for hundred per cent reservation for local residents also in the state’s 11 non-scheduled districts for 10 years.