The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed the Haryana government’s decision to grant reservation to the Jat community. The court also issued a notice to the state government, asking for a reply by July 21, which is when the next hearing in the matter will be held.

The Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016, was passed unanimously by the state Assembly in March, which proposed to include Jats and five other castes under the backward classes category by bifurcation and to provide them reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

On March 31, petitioner Shakti Singh had claimed that the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government had acted under pressure following riots that killed at least 30 people. He also said that the decision to pass the Bill was “arbitrary and mala fide”. In the petition, Singh cited a Supreme Court ruling that prohibited the allocation of more than a 50% quota. However, the Haryana Backward Classes Bill will hike reservation in the state to 70%.