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SC agrees to examine Haryana govt’s appeal on 75% quota for locals in pvt sector

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea filed by Haryana against the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the state government's law providing 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs to locals.

New Delhi, Feb 5,2024:  The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea filed by Haryana against the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the state government’s law providing 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs to locals.

A bench presided over by Justice PS Narasimha told Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, who represented the state government, that the apex court will soon take up the special leave petition for final disposal.

However, the bench, also comprising Justice Aravind Kumar, turned down the request made by SG Mehta to stay the operation of the impugned November 2023 order of the high court.

It said that prima facie no presumption of constitutionality of a statute can be drawn after the same has been held to be ultravires the Constitution in a detailed judgment by the high court.

In a brief hearing, Mehta contended that the decision of the high court was not well reasoned and urged for an expeditious decision from the apex court.

The top court assured SG Mehta that the matter will be decided by July 2024 tentatively.

In a batch of petitions filed by the different industrial associations, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had struck down the 2020 Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act envisaging three-fourth reservation for local youth in the private sector with an upper limit of gross monthly salary up to Rs 30,000.

The petitioners had contended that the impugned Act is against the provisions of the Constitution and intrudes into the fundamental rights of the private employers to carry on their business and trade as provided under Article 19 of Constitution of India.

As per the law, all shops, showrooms and industries in Haryana, which employ more than 10 people, had to ensure that 75 per cent of their staff are locals. The reservation law was applicable for 10 years.

Fulfilling one of the key poll promises made by Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a coalition partner of the BJP, the Haryana government brought the contentious law into force with effect from January 15, 2022.

The local industrialists had alleged that the state government’s law is not in the interest of industries and will force industries to migrate from Haryana to the adjoining states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

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