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Asked to clear stand, Centre says Haryana to ‘explain’ job quota rationale

Five days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court sought Centre’s “specific” reply clearing its stand on Haryana’s 75% quota in private jobs, the Union government in an affidavit Wednesday parried the query by stating that “it is for state of Haryana to respond in the matter”.

While pointing about that objects and reasons of Haryana’s quota bill calls the reservation move “socially, economically and environmentally desirable”, the Centre stated that only Haryana can explain if these objectives are achievable through this legislation.

The case is now listed for hearing on March 10 before the division bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Sandeep Moudgil.

Meanwhile, the matter has now been referred to another bench after a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court recused himself from hearing the case.

During the day’s hearing, the affidavit filed by R K Srivastava, Joint Secretary and Legal Advisor, Department of Legal Affairs, Government of India, stated, “The said Act makes it mandatory for the employers in the state to provide 75 per cent jobs for local residents with respect to such posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than Rs 30,000 or as notified by the state. The Statement of Object and Reasons of the Bill states that the influx of a large number of migrants competing for low paid jobs places a significant impact on local infrastructure and housing and leads to proliferation of slums. This has led to environmental and health issues which have been acutely felt in the urban areas of Haryana affecting quality of living and livelihood. Therefore, giving preference to local candidates in low-paid jobs is socially, economically and environmentally desirable and any such preference would be in the interests of the general public.”

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