The Haryana Backward Classes Bill, which was unanimously passed by the Haryana Assembly on Tuesday, was challenged in court on Wednesday. Petitioner Shakti Singh from the Jind district claimed that the Manohar Lal Khattar government had acted under pressure from a particular caste, and the decision to introduce the Bill was “arbitrary and mala fide”.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court is likely to hear the plea either on Thursday or Friday. Singh has sought a direction to quash the Bill and stay further proceedings till the court pronounces its verdict on the petition, Hindustan Times reported. In the petition, he cited a Supreme Court ruling that prohibited the allocation of more than a 50% quota. However, the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016, will hike reservation in the state to 70%.
The Bill proposes to include Jats and five other castes under the backward classes category by bifurcation and provide them reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. The Haryana Cabinet cleared the Bill on Monday, a day after protesters threatened to resume their agitation if their demands were not met by March 31, the last day of the Vidhan Sabha’s Budget Session. Members of the Jat community had launched violent protests in February, in which at least 30 people were killed and more than 320 were injured, besides damage worth crores of rupees afflicted to property.