Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016 upheld by high court

Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016 upheld by high court”

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday upheld that the Haryana Backward Classes Act of 2016, declaring it constitutionally valid. Speaking to reporters soon after HC's statement, AAG Haryana Lokesh Singhal said, "Constitutional validity of the Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016 has been upheld by Punjab & Haryana HC".

The High Court, however, kept the provision for reservation in abeyance and referred the case to the Backward Class Commission which will have to submit its report on the percentage of quota by March 2018.

AAG Singhal also said that the Backward Class Commission will decide the issue by March 31 2018.

Meanwhile, the Commission can also submit any objections and suggestions regarding the data by November 30.

The petitioner said when the Supreme Court had observed that the Jats could not be treated as backward, the Assembly had no right to pass the said Act.

The Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act 2016, passed by the assembly on March 29 previous year, provides 10 per cent quota in Class III and IV posts and educational institutions and six per cent quota in Class I and II posts to Jats, Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois, Tyagis and Muslim Jats in Schedule-III.

The state government promised reservation after the Jat agitation to press the demand paralysed the state for nine days in February 2016.

Before the verdict, Ashok Balhara, the general secretary of the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, had threatened to launch a fresh agitation if the court struck down the reservation. Currently, Jat community constitutes up to 26 per cent of the total population of Haryana. According to the petitioner, with the passing of new bill, the reservation has reached around 70% but according to the law laid down by apex court, the (reservation) limit could not exceed beyond 50 per cent. Haryana government, however, had argued that in view of geographical and cultural diversity in the country, it is not necessary that there be uniformity in the reservation policies.

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