Stay on Jat quota Act continues till March next year

Chandigarh, Sep 1: More than a year after the constitutional validity of an Act providing reservation to Jats and five other communities under the newly created BC (C) category was challenged, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed that it would be kept in abeyance till March 31, 2018.

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Sending the matter back to the Backward Classes Commission, the Bench of Justice Surinder Singh Saron and Justice Lisa Gill asked it file its report by then. Pronouncing the order in an open court in the afternoon, the Bench directed the collection of quantifiable data till November 30. Objections to the data would be collected and uploaded on the commission website till December 31 before the completion of the remaining process.

The direction came on petitions filed by Murari Lal Gupta challenging the constitutional validity of the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions), Act, 2016.‘The Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016’ was passed unanimously by the Haryana Assembly on March 29, 2016.

It was notified in the official gazette on May 12, 2016, by the state government.Five other communities–Jat Sikh, Mulla Jat/Muslim Jat, Bishnoi, Ror and Tyagi were to be entitled to get 10 per cent reservation in government services and admission in educational institutes. On May 26, 2016, the Bench headed by Justice Saron had stayed the reservation, while taking up a public interest litigation.Justifying quota for Jat and five other communities, the State of Haryana had claimed that the High Court could examine the decision’s validity only under exceptional circumstances.

The State argued that the Supreme Court had set aside the Central government’s notification providing OBC quota for the Jat community, but it was not related to reservation to the Jat community under the state quota.In his petition, Gupta had earlier sought directions for quashing the block ‘C’ of the Act providing reservation to Jat community under a newly carved BC (C) category.

Counsel for Kumhar Maha Sabha Vijay Kumar Jindal submitted that reservation to Jat community was provided under the new Act on the basis of Justice KC Gupta Commission report, which had already been quashed by the Supreme Court.He stated that reservation on the basis of the Justice Gupta Commission report would tantamount to revision of a judicial order, which could not be done by the legislature.

He further submitted that in 2014 also the state government had introduced a bill to include Jats in the list of other backward classes for reservation in job and educational institutes. But, the Supreme Court in case of Ram Singh and others versus the Union of India had held that Jats were not backward socially, educationally and politically.

Source Tribune India