The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday stayed reservation for the Jat community. The law was challenged by petitioner Murari Lal Gupta through public interest litigation (PIL) and a two-judge bench of justices Gurmit Ram and SS Saron had issued notices to the Haryana govt to respond by July 21.
Jats had threatened to resume their agitation if the assembly failed to pass the bill before the last day of the budget session on 31 March. The politically sensitive bill was cleared by governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on 1 April and the two bills, Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016, and Haryana Backward Classes Commission Bill, 2016, were introduced by Khattar in the assembly on 29 March and passed the same day.
Both the bills asked for 10% quota for Jats and five other casts, Sikh, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi and Mulla Jat/Muslim Jat by making a new category called Block ‘C’ in the Backward Classes category.
The changes were proposed after a violent Jat agitation that crippled the state and ended in the death of 30 people, injuries to 320 others and widespread damage to property. The agitation had paralysed much areas of the state after incidents of loot and arson were reported from different areas of Haryana. It brought under control only after the Army staged a flag march.