Manish Tewari hails Punjab and Haryana HC decision on 75% quota in private sector

The Congress leader says the High Court's move aligns with the spirit of the constitution

Congress leader Manish Tewari (photo: National Herald archives)
Congress leader Manish Tewari (photo: National Herald archives)


A day after Haryana and Punjab High Court quashed a 2020 Haryana government law providing 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs to locals, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday said it is in keeping with the "spirit of the Constitution" and that the division bench upheld the essence of Constitutionalism that equality is the rule and reservation an exception.

In a post on X, Tewari, who is also a Lok Sabha MP said, "The decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court striking down the illegal, arbitrary and capricious legislation — Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020 is in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution."

The Congress leader said, "The division bench of Justice Sandhawalia and Jeewan have upheld the essence of Constitutionalism that equality is the rule and reservation the exception."

"In fact, all reservations in excess of the Golden Mean of 5O per cent laid down by 9 Judges in Re Indra Sawhney are violative of the Constitution. Great nations cannot be built by giving the principles of Equality and merit a complete pass," he said.

"The nine Judges bench in Indra Sawhney had rightly balanced competing equities to evolve the rule of 50 per cent. The Constitutional Courts should not allow this sacrosanct principle to be violated under any circumstances in the name of Mission Creep," Tewari added.

His remarks came a day after the verdict was pronounced by justices Sandhawalia and Harpreet Kaur Jeewan.

Fulfilling one of the key poll promises made by Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a coalition partner of the BJP, a law that provides 75 per cent reservation in the private sector to job seekers from the state came into effect on 15 January 2022.

It envisaged reservation for local youth in the private sector with an upper limit of gross monthly salary up to Rs 30,000.

One of the petitions contended that the impugned act is against the provisions of the Constitution and also against the basic principle of meritocracy that acted as the foundation for businesses to grow and remain competitive.

The government wanted to create reservation in the private sector by introducing the policy of "sons of soil", which was an infringement of the constitutional rights of the employers, said a petitioner.

The private sector jobs were purely based on the skills and analytical blend of mind of the employees who were citizens of India having constitutional rights on the basis of their education to do jobs in any part of India, added the petitioner.

The reservation law was applicable for 10 years.

The government also relaxed the residency requirement from 15 to five years for a person to get a bona-fide resident certificate in the state to provide some flexibility to the private companies in hiring.

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