High Court sets aside Haryana law guaranteeing 75% reservation to locals in private sector 

Petitioners had told the court that the law was at odds with Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India

November 17, 2023 07:44 pm | Updated 07:44 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

A file image of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A file image of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday quashed the Haryana government’s law guaranteeing 75% reservation to locals in private sector jobs in Haryana.

The court of Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan pronounced the order to quash the law – Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 – while hearing multiple petitions against the implementation of the law.

“The High Court has quashed the Haryana state’s law guaranteeing 75% reservation to locals in private sector jobs in the State asserting it was unconstitutional. The detailed order is awaited,” Tushar Sharma, counsel for one of the petitioners – Manesar Industrial Welfare Association told The Hindu. There were multiple petitions before the court seeking the quashing of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020.

Industry associations from Gurugram, Faridabad, and Rewari districts of Haryana had sought judicial recourse and had submitted that the law goes against constitutional provisions and the basic principle of merit underpinning private sector growth.

On January 15, 2022, the Haryana government notified the ‘Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020’. The law provided for 75% of the new employment to be given to local candidates for jobs having a salary of less than ₹30,000 per month in various privately managed companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms, etc. situated in Haryana.

One of the petitions challenged the law on account of the fact that it provides reservation in private employment and creates an unprecedented intrusion by the State government into the fundamental rights of the employers to carry on their business and trade as provided for under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. It was also submitted in the petition that the law was an infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. It added that a fundamental wedge is sought to be created between persons domiciled in different States by the statue in question which is contrary to the concept of common citizenship provided in the Constitution of India.

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