The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday set aside a Haryana government law providing 75% reservation for the state’s residents in private sector jobs, reported Live Law.

A division bench of Justices GS Sandhawalia and Harpreet Kaur Jeewan declared that the law – the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 – was unconstitutional. The court passed the verdict in response to petitions filed by a number of industrial bodies in the state. The detailed judgement has not been released yet.

The law was enacted in November 2021 and came into effect in January 2022. The 75% quota applied to all positions that offered a salary of up to Rs 30,000 a month.

The Act stated that those who are domiciled in Haryana could avail of its benefits. To have domicile status, a person should be born in the state or should have lived there for at least 15 years.

Companies were given the option to hire people from outside if they cannot find suitable candidates in Haryana. However, they would have to inform the government about this decision.

Commenting on the High Court verdict on Friday, Congress leader Deepender S Hooda said the decision showed that the state government did not defend its stand properly, PTI reported. “It also makes it clear that BJP-JJP [Bharatiya Janata Party and Jannayak Janta Party] formed a government to do corruption and loot the state,” he alleged.

The petitioners had said that the Act was contrary to the idea of common citizenship in India and it failed to uphold the federal structure of the country.

On the other hand, the Haryana government argued that that the Act just made a “geographical classification”, which was permitted under the Constitution. The government said that the law was enacted because of rising unemployment in Haryana.