Jat Reservation Bill challenged in Punjab and Haryana High Court

jat reservation bill challenged in high court

The Jat Reservation Agitation was a series of protests which was started on February 12 by Jat people of North India, especially those in the state of Haryana. The protesters sought inclusion of their caste in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, which would make them eligible for affirmative action benefits. By 22 February, the protests were estimated to have caused a loss of ₹340 billion in northern India. The government attempted to stop the Jats by setting up a committee to look into their demand. The stir left 30 people dead and 320 persons injured besides resulting in huge damage to property. The Jats then threatened to relaunch their agitation on March 18 but put it off till April 3 after the BJP government promised to bring the Jat reservation bill in the ongoing budget session.

Keeping in mind the approaching deadline for the granting of reservation, a Bill to provide reservation to Jats and five other communities in government jobs and education was unanimously passed by Haryana Assembly on Tuesday. The Bill extends reservation to Jats and five other castes: Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois, Tyagis and Mulla Jat/Muslim Jat by constituting a new classification, Block ‘C’, in the Backward Classes category. The Bill proposes to give 10 percent reservation to these communities in government and government-aided educational institutions and Class-III and IV government jobs. It also envisages 6 percent reservation for them in BC ‘C’ category in Class-I and II jobs.

But a day after Haryana Assembly cleared the quota bill, the same was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Advocate Satnarayan Yadav challenged the grant of reservation today on the grounds that the Supreme Court has ruled against the overall quota exceeding 50 percent threshold in any state. If the 1992 orders of the apex court are taken into consideration then the court had opposed more than 50 percent overall reservation.

Advocate Yadav claimed that Haryana government had succumbed to the pressure from Jats by bringing the reservation bill. He also informed that two or three other states have also sought to provide over 50 per cent reservation but these decisions have been challenged in the courts. The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.

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