CHANDIGARH (TIP): In what is seen as a setback for the Khattar government in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court here on Thursday stayed the reservation granted by the state government to Jats and five other communities.

Reservation was granted to these communities under a new category of Backward Class (C). Under this, six communities — Jats, Jat Sikhs, Muslim Jats, Bishnois, Rors and Tyagis — are entitled to 10% quota in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.

The government had passed a bill on providing quota in jobs and educational institutions to these categories in the state Assembly on March 29. The government succumbed to fierce agitation launched by members of the community, who paralysed rail and road network for nearly nine days over the reservation issue, leaving 31 people dead and 320 injured.

On Thursday, the court issued a notice to the government on a petition filed by one M L Gupta of Bhiwani, who challenged the constitutionality of the newly enacted bill – The Haryana Backward Classes (reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Act, 2016. The petitioner said that reservation for these communities was provided under the new act on the basis of the Justice K C Gupta commission report, which has already been quashed by the Supreme Court.

The petitioner said providing reservation on the basis of the Gupta commission will amount to the revision of a judicial order, which the legislature cannot undertake. Also, only the judiciary can review the findings on an issue already decided in a judicial order. The petition also states that in 2014, the state government under Bhupinder Singh Hooda had introduced a bill to include Jats in the list of Other Backward Classes for reservation in jobs and educational institutes. But the apex court had held that Jats are not socially, educationally and politically backward, and had quashed the decision to grant reservation.