CHANDIGARH (TIP): The Haryana Assembly  passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016 to provide reservation for Jats and four other communities in government jobs and education.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar moved the Bill in the House to give statutory status to Backward classes Block ‘A’, Backward classes Block ‘B’ and Backward classes Block ‘C’ — by enacting the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016 and requested the Central government to include this Act in 9th Schedule read with Article 31B of the Constitution of India.

It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had promised reservation for the Jat community and others that included Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois and Tyagis, by bringing a Bill during the ongoing Budget Assembly session, following a violent Jat agitation that had left the State paralysed for over ten days in February 2016.

The press communication issued by the government said the Bill provides for increase in percentage of reservation in Schedule I, II and III for Class I and II posts for BC ‘A’, BC ‘B’ and BC ‘C’ from 10 per cent, five per cent and five per cent to 11 per cent, six per cent and six per cent respectively.

It was also ecided to increase the existing reservation of five per cent for Economically Backward Persons in General Caste Category in Class I and II posts from five per cent to seven per cent.

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The Bill states that notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the state government may provide horizontal reservation for such category or categories of persons within Backward Classes, as it may deem necessary from time to time.

After analysing the Justice (Retd.) K.C. Gupta Commission report (the Commission that was set-up to entertain, examine and recommend upon requests for inclusion and exclusion of castes in the list of backward classes), the state government is satisfied that the report of the Commission is based on quantifiable data and strong evidences, which indicates that not only the five
castes/classes — Jat, Jat Sikh, Ror, Bishnoi and Tyagi are backward classes socially and educationally, but they also comply with all legal norms suggested in Indra Sawhney’s (CWP 930 of 1990) case, which has made it imperative for the state to provide these castes/classes ten percent reservation in relaxation of general rule of 50 percent in terms of paragraph 810 of the Indra Sawhney’s case.

Notably, reservation in Haryana has already touched the 50 per cent threshold as prescribed by the Supreme Court of India, however the case law established by Indra Sawhney’s case does not limit the powers for providing reservation to classes by the executive or legislative Branches.

As per the judgement, reservation should not “exceed 50 per cent of the appointments in a grade, cadre or service in any particular year. It is only for extraordinary reasons that this percentage may be exceeded.” However, every excess over 50 per cent will have to be justified on valid grounds which will have to be specifically made out, said the government statement.