SC stays Haryana govt order on 75% job reservation for locals in Pvt companies
On Thursday, the Supreme Court has set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, which stayed the Haryana law providing 75 percent reservation in industries to youngsters with the domicile of the state. The High Court has been asked by the apex court to decide on the issue within a month and direct the state government not to take any coercive steps against the employers for the time being.
Earlier this month, the Haryana government had moved the top court against the High Court decision. The state government had questioned the validity of the interim order by the High Court suspending the operation of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020.
On January 15, 2022, the government notified the “Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020”. The law provides for 75% of new employment for local candidates having a salary of less than Rs.30,000 a month in various privately managed companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms, etc.
A bench was headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said, “High Court order is set aside as the court has not given sufficient reason.” Pointing at the one-line order of the High Court, the top court said: “All statues can be done in one-line order?”
It was submitted before the bench that the High Court was prima facie satisfied that the legislation was unconstitutional. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Haryana government, contended that the High Court merely gave 90-second hearings in the matter, which was against the principles of natural justice. “In the meanwhile, the Haryana government should not take coercive steps against employers”, said the bench.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing a petitioner on caveat, submitted that there are over 49,000 companies registered in Haryana. Dave said, “There is no reservation in the private sector and it can only be done by Parliament. There is no empirical study, no data to give reservation.”
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Manesar Industrial Welfare Association, urged the top court not to vacate the stay granted by the High Court on the law.
In a special leave petition, the Haryana government contended that the interim order was passed in the teeth of law laid down by the top court in Bhavesh D Parish vs Union of India (2000), and also in violation of the principles of natural justice.
“It is submitted that the hearing granted by the High Court was a mere empty formality, whereby, the High Court with a predetermined conclusion opened the hearing by saying that the Act is liable to be stayed and thereafter did not afford any opportunity to the law officer appearing on behalf of the state of Haryana,” said the plea. It further added, “Violation of principles of natural justice is manifest from the fact the entire hearing in the matter concluded within one minute“.
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