New Delhi: The Haryana government has detailed its formula for reservation for Jats in a Bill which was passed in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday.
The ‘Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Government Jobs and admissions in Government Jobs and Admissions in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016’, provides for reservation in government jobs under Government/Government Undertakings and Local Bodies as well as admission in Government/Government Aided Educational/Technical/Professional Institutions to persons belonging to Backward Classes in the state.
The objective of the Bill, in keeping with the demands made by the Jat leaders, is to give statutory status to Backward Class ‘C’ (earlier referred to as Special Backward Classes) as specified in Schedule III of the Bill. The Bill further requests the Central government to include the Act in the 9th Schedule read with Article 31B of the Constitution of India. Inclusion in the 9th Schedule is intended to protect the Bill from judicial review on grounds of it not violating any fundamental rights as defined in the Constitution.
Despite the fact that a consensus on the standard procedure and timeline necessary to enact the Reservation Bill was reached between the Jat leaders and ML Khattar, chief minister, Haryana in meetings held on 17 January, a series of malicious whisper campaigns designed to create unrest, set off a violent quota stir within hours, on 18 January.
The quota agitation held the state to ransom for almost a month, leading to 30 lives lost, 320 injured, including 72 policemen, damages to public and private property valued at Rs 1,100 crore, including Rs 200 crore worth of damage to railway assets and an overall loss upwards of Rs 34,000 crore across the northern states on account of disruption of economic activity.
According to the Bill, 16 percent for Class III and IV posts, 11 percent in Class I and II posts in direct recruitment in Government/Government Undertakings and Local Bodies and 16 percent reservation for admissions in Government/Government Aided Educational, Technical and Professional Institutions will be provided for those in Backward Class (BC) ‘A’. This represents a one percent increase in Class I and II.
BC ‘A’ is an exhaustive list of 71 castes.
Eleven percent in Class III and IV posts, six percent in Class I and II posts in direct recruitment in Government/Government Undertakings and Local Bodies, and 11 percent reservation for admissions in Government/Government Aided Educational, Technical and Professional Institutions has been provided for under BC ‘B’. This also represents a one percent increase in Class I and II.
BC ‘B’ includes six main caste groups, including Ahir/Yadav, Gujjar, Lodh/Lodha/Lodhi, Saini/Shakya/Koeri/Kushwaha/Maurya, Meo and Gosai/Gosain/Goswami
For Class III and IV posts 10 percent, for Class I and II posts six percent in direct recruitment in Government/Government Undertakings and Local Bodies and 10 percent reservation for admissions in Government/Government Aided Educational, Technical and Professional Institutions has been provided under BC ‘C’.
The BC ‘C’ list includes Jat, Jat Sikh, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi and Mulla Jat/Muslim Jat.
The Bill clarifies that there will be no reservation for persons belonging to the creamy layer of backward classes as specified in Schedule I, II or III and the criteria for identification of people in the creamy layer of backward classes for the purpose of availing benefits of reservation under this Bill will be specified by the government and reviewed every three years.
If seats reserved for backward classes in educational institutions are not filled up in any academic year due to non-availability of candidates possessing the requisite qualifications, these will be made available to other general candidates with no carry forward of vacant backward class seats to the next academic year.
The first Backward Classes Commission was set up on 7 September, 1990 under the Chairmanship of Justice Gurnam Singh (retd), and its recommendations, submitted in its report of 30 December, 1990 were accepted by the Haryana government. Vide notifications No 299-SW(1) dated 5 February, 1991, 10 castes — Ahir, Bishnoi, Meo, Gujjar, Jat, Jat Sikh, Ror, Saini, Tyagi and Rajput — were included in the list of backward classes and vide instructions dated 5 April, 1991, reservation was provided to these castes.
The state government later re-examined the reservation policy and issued an Order on 12 September, 1991 that till a final decision is taken, recruitment will be made according to the status prevalent prior to the letter issued on 5 April, 1991. The state government then submitted an affidavit on 1 October, 1993 in the Supreme Court stating that it had stayed all reservations made in pursuance to the Gurnam Singh Commission’s recommendations and an independent commission to examine the inclusion and exclusion of castes was being formed.
The second Backward Classes Commission was formed under the Chairmanship of Ramji Lal, Ex. MP, who was later replaced by Deshraj Kamboj. On its recommendations, vide notification No 1170-SW(1)-95 dated 7 June, 1995, five castes, namely, Ahir/Yadav, Gujjar, Saini, Meo, Lodh and Lodha were included in the list of backward classes. The chief secretary, Haryana further issued instructions dated 20 July, 1995 bifurcating backward classes into Block A (67 castes) with 16 percent and Block B (6 castes) with 11 percent or a total of 27 percent reservation across both blocks.
However, those who had been included in the backward classes list on the recommendations of the Justice Gurnam Singh Commission report, only to be excluded later, continued to press for reservation. To accommodate their demand, vide notification dated 8 April, 2011 the Haryana Backward Classes Commission was reconstituted under the Chairmanship of Justice KC Gupta (retd) and its recommendations were submitted to the government on 12 December, 2012. The Council of Ministers accepted the recommendations of giving Special Backward Class (SBC) status to these castes in its meeting held on 12 December, 2012 and chief secretary, Haryana vide a DO dated 14 December, 2012 forwarded the case to the Central government for inclusion in the Central list of OBCs.
However, this was rejected by the Supreme Court.
This SBC category, created by the previous BS Hooda-led regime has been a bone of contention, which has now been dispensed with by the Khattar government by including the BC ‘C’ category in the Act. Additionally, there has been no permanent Backward Class Commission in Haryana since the Indra Sawhney judgement of 1992 with commissions being set up at the whims and fancies of successive chief ministers, an anomaly which is also likely to be corrected by Khattar.