High Court Strikes Down Haryana's 75% Job Reservation Law

On 17th Nov, the Punjab and Haryana High Court declared the controversial Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act unconstitutional, a law that mandated 75% job reservation for state residents in private-sector employment.

Key Points

  • Court Ruling: The Punjab and Haryana High Court declared the Haryana job reservation law unconstitutional, terming it violative of Part III of the Constitution of India.
  • Law Background: The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, passed in 2020, aimed at reserving 75% of private-sector jobs with a monthly salary below Rs. 30,000 for residents holding a domicile certificate.
  • Political Implications: With Assembly elections approaching, the ruling is a setback for the government's efforts to consolidate local votes, particularly from the Jat community. The government is likely to appeal the decision.
  • Act Objective: The law's objective was to address the impact of migrant competition for low-paid jobs on local infrastructure and housing.
  • It sought to prioritize locals for such jobs in the interest of social, economic, and environmental factors.
  • Legal Challenge: The Gurugram Industrial Association and other employer bodies filed petitions against the law, arguing that it infringed on employers' constitutional rights.
  • They contended that the law contradicted constitutional principles of justice, equality, liberty, and fraternity.
  • Previous Legal Status: The Act had been stayed by the High Court in February 2022, but the Supreme Court later set aside the order. The Supreme Court instructed the high court to expedite the decision on the petitions.