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Haryana passes Jat quota bill, but now comes the legal hurdle

Haryana Cabinet on Tuesday cleared Jat Quota Bill that proposes to provide ten percent reservation in education and jobs to five communities, including politically-dominant Jat community.

The new bill will increase the state's quota percentage to 67 percent, a legally indefensible position in view of a 1992 Supreme Court judgment that fixed a cap of 50 percent. It must be noted that backward classes in Haryana already enjoy 27 percent reservation, followed by scheduled castes' 20 percent, and 10 percent for the economically backward people.

Moreover, the state passed the Haryana backward classes commission bill to set up a statutory mechanism for assessing requests of inclusion and complaints of under-inclusion and over-exclusion of people in this reserved category.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's govt. will request the Centre to include the quota law in the Constitution's Ninth Schedule to avoid a legal tangle.

The reservation law says 6 castes - Jats, Bishnois, Tyagis, Jat Sikhs, Rors and Muslim or Mulla Jats - have been included in a new backward class category, called BC-C. They will get 10 percent reservation in class 3 and 4 posts and 6 percent reservation in class 1 and 2 jobs.

The existing 27 percent reservation to 71 castes in two backward class categories, BC-A and BC-B, has also been brought under the range of the law. Till date, reservation in these two categories was given through an executive order.