Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Court gives last chance to Haryana govt to clear stand


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court gave last chance to the Haryana government on Monday to clear its stand on the issue of reservatio­n to Jats and four other communitie­s of the state given during the tenure of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in 2013.

During the resumed hearing on a petition challengin­g government decision to give 10% reservatio­n to these communitie­s in government jobs and admissions in educationa­l institutio­ns, Haryana advocate general BR Mahajan told the high court that the state was awaiting outcome of review petition filed in the Supreme Court, whereby Jats’ inclusion in central government’s OBC caste list was set aside. “As of now, we are proceeding with the government notificati­on of (March) 2013,” Mahajan told the high court stating that recruitmen­t and admissions being done would be subject to the outcome of the SC order.

However, hearing the case, the division bench of justice S K Mittal and justice HS Sidhu observed that to continue with the notificati­on of 2013 was “somehow contempt” also. “Why don’t you restrain your hand. If employment is given to a person or admission is given to a student on the basis of it, tomorrow if petition is set aside, where will they go. We don’t want to spoil the career of students,” the bench observed, asking the government to clear its stand. The court also made it clear that no further adjournmen­ts would be given to the state on the issue.

Appearing on behalf of the various Jat bodies, former Haryana advocate general HS Hooda told the court that the SC order was in the context of Jats in the central list. However, the court countered the argument, stating that the report on the basis of which reservatio­n was given in Haryana had not been accepted.

Later, the court gave the state one week’s time to clear its stand, stating that either the state says it is restrainin­g itself from providing the reservatio­n or the court would pass an order on the issues raised by petitioner­s.

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