New Delhi: The Supreme Court will now hear on February 11 the Haryana government’s challenge to the Punjab and Haryana high court order staying the operation of the state law -- the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020 -- providing for 75 per cent reservations for local candidates in private sector jobs.
The matter, which was listed before a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai as the last item on Monday, could not be taken up as the court had to rise for the day at the end of the day’s proceedings While solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Haryana government, sought the hearing of the matter on Tuesday (February 8) itself, senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, appearing for respondent caveator Faridabad Industries Association urged the court to hear the matter on Wednesday (Feb. 9) citing prior engagements. However, Mr Mehta cited his difficulty both on Wednesday and Thursday as he would be arguing before a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of different provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Both Mr Dave and senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi agreed when the court said that the matter will be listed on February 11. Mr Rohatgi said that deferring the hearing till February 11 would not make any difference.
The Haryana government had moved the apex court challenging the high court order staying the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020 providing for 75 per cent reservation for local candidates in private sector jobs with a salary cap of Rs 30,000 per month.
The solicitor-general, in a mention on February 4, seeking an urgent listing, had told a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that the high court, after hearing him for 90 seconds, admitted the petition by the Faridabad Industries Association and stayed the operation of the law proving reservation for local candidates.
The high court had stayed the law as it did not find any merit in the state government’s arguments on treating the legislation prime facie valid in the interests of the unemployed youth in the state. The law, notified on November 6, 2021, applies to all companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms, and any person employing ten or more persons, but excludes the Central Government or the state government, or any organisation owned by them.