Jat reservation bill lands in legal wrangling- HC stays the operation

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The bill to provide reservation to Jats, passed by Haryana assembly in March, has landed in legal battle. On Thursday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the bill till July 21, the next date of hearing of the case.

This is being considered as a major setback to the state government.

The petitioner Murari Lal Gupta, in his petition filed through his counsel before the high court had stated that Haryana government had incorporated Backward Classes C category to provide reservation to Jats and five other communities on the basis of Justice K C Gupta Commission report.

File photo of a bus put on fire during the Jat quota strike

File photo of a bus put on fire during the Jat quota strike

In may be recalled that an agitation seeking quota in jobs and education for Jats, in February, had turned violent and damage to private and public properties of over Rs. 20,000 crores was suffered by Haryana. After that the government had appointed a commission to evaluate the claim. Later on March 29, the bill was passed in Haryana assembly.

Earlier also, in 2014, the government had introduce the bill to provide reservation to the Jat community, which had already been quashed by the Supreme Court of India. The apex court held that Jats in the state were not backward, socially, politically or educationally.

The counsel argued that providing reservation on the basis of Justice Gupta Commission amounted to revision of a judicial order, which the legislative could not do.

The petition was first listed before constitution bench comprising Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Lisa Gill who in an order passed on May 19, 2016 had stated “We do not see any personal cause or legal injury to the petitioner and the cause espoused apparently is in the public interest”. The bench headed by Justice Mahesh Grover also recommended to list the petition before PIL bench.

Meanwhile the state government is learnt to have decided to move an application on Monday, seeking early hearing of the case and present their side of arguments.

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