Legal Battle Unfolds Over Haryana's 75% Job Reservation Law

Chandigarh: The Haryana government, led by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, has announced its intention to challenge a recent Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling that struck down a law providing 75 percent reservation in private sector jobs for Haryana residents. The court declared the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, as "unconstitutional" and "ultra vires." According to the court, the legislation aimed to create an artificial gap and discriminate against Indian citizens, asserting that the state lacks jurisdiction to legislate on such matters and restrict private employers from hiring individuals from the open market earning less than Rs 30,000 per month.

Dushyant Chautala stated that the government is assessing the high court's decision and will soon approach the Supreme Court, emphasizing that the legislation was enacted in the best interest of the state and its industries. Chautala, leader of the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), had provided support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Haryana Government during the assembly elections. The promise of providing 75 percent reservation to locals in private sector jobs was a key electoral commitment of the JJP. The Haryana government, under Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, had enacted a law ensuring 75 percent reservation in private sector jobs for Haryana candidates with a maximum gross monthly salary of Rs 30,000.

The law faced legal challenges from the Faridabad Industrial Association and several other industrial groups, contending that it violated Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution, and the state lacked legislative competence under Article 35 to enact such legislation.

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