NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today ordered status quo on the operation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict, which upheld the constitutional validity of the law providing ten percent reservation to Jat and five other communities in Haryana, till further orders.
Senior advocate K Sultan Singh, appearing for petitioner Satvir Singh Saini and others, who had opposed the Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016, informed the apex court that the Backward Class Commission will submit its report on the percentage of quota by March 31, following which the Haryana Government can implement the order, and sought a stay or status quo.
A bench of justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that it will hear the matter and status quo shall be maintained till further orders.
"List next week, at the request of counsel for the respondent(s). Status quo, obtaining as on today, shall be maintained, in the meantime," the bench said.
The Haryana Assembly had unanimously passed The Haryana Backward Classes (reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Bill 2016 on March 29, 2016.
The government notified the Act in its official gazette on May 12, 2016.
The new Act provided reservation to Jat and five other communities including Jat Sikh, Bishnoi and Tyagi -under a newly carved out backward class (C) category.
As per the Act, these communities would be entitled to get 10 per cent reservation in government services and admission in educational institutions.
However, on May 26, 2016, a division bench of the high court had stayed the reservation to these communities after hearing a public interest litigation challenging the constitutional validity of schedule-III (block-C) of The Haryana Backward Classes (reservation in services and admission in educational institutions) Act 2016.
The PIL had sought directions to set aside the bill for being against the law laid down by the apex court in Indira Sawhney case.
According to the petition, with the passing of the new bill, the reservation has reached around 70 per cent, but according to the law laid down by apex court, the quota limit could not exceed beyond 50 per cent.
The high court had on September 1, 2017, upheld the constitutional validity of the Act.
In February 2016, the state had seen violent protests by the Jat community demanding quota in jobs and educational institutions which virtually brought Haryana to a halt.
The agitation had left many dead and several grievously injured.