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Quashing of Haryana’s Local Candidates Reservation Act 2020


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 as unconstitutional, nullifying the mandated 75% reservation for local candidates in private sector jobs. The court ruled that the law violates fundamental rights of both citizens and employers.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Haryana Private Sector Quota Law
  2. Concerns Regarding Haryana’s Private Sector Quota Law
  3. High Court’s Ruling

Haryana Private Sector Quota Law

  • Enactment:
    • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 was passed by the state government in March 2021.
  • Reservation Percentage:
    • Mandated a 75% reservation for local candidates in private sector jobs.
    • Applied to positions with a monthly salary below Rs 30,000 (originally Rs 50,000) for a period of 10 years.
  • Entities Covered:
    • Applied to various entities, including companies, societies, trusts, partnership firms, and large individual employers.
  • Employer Criteria:
    • Employers with 10 or more employees were subject to the law.
  • Central or state governments and their organizations were exempted.
Registration and Domicile Requirement
  • Employee Registration:
    • Employers required to register their employees on a government portal.
  • Domicile Certificate:
    • Local candidates needed a certificate of domicile to avail the reservation.
  • Local Candidate Definition:
    • A “local candidate” domiciled in the State of Haryana.
Objective and Intent
  • Employment Opportunities:
    • Aimed at providing job opportunities and skill development for local youth.
    • Focused on unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
  • Migration Control:
    • Intended to reduce the influx of migrants from other states into Haryana.

Concerns Regarding Haryana’s Private Sector Quota Law

Legal Challenge by Industry Associations


  • Faridabad Industries Association and other Haryana-based associations approached the high court.
  • Contended that Haryana’s policy of “sons of the soil” infringed upon constitutional rights of employers.

Violation of Constitutional Rights:

  • Argument that the reservation policy infringed on the constitutional rights of employers.
  • Private sector jobs should be skill-based, and individuals have a fundamental right to work anywhere in India.

Federal Structure Concerns:

  • Asserted that forcing employers to hire local candidates violated the federal structure of the Constitution.
  • Viewed as contrary to public interest and benefiting only one class.
Haryana Government’s Defense

Legal Basis:

  • Haryana government argued that it had the authority under Article 16(4) of the Constitution to create such reservations.
  • Article 16(4) allows the state to provide reservations for backward classes not adequately represented in state services.

Protection of Rights:

  • Government stated the law was necessary to protect the rights of people domiciled in the state, including the right to life, livelihood, health, living conditions, and employment.

High Court’s Ruling

  • Inspector Raj Criticism:
    • Sections 6 and 8 of the Act, establishing reporting requirements and verification, criticized as creating an “Inspector Raj.”
    • Inspector Raj refers to excessive government supervision in industrial units.
  • Violations of Fundamental Rights:
    • Court ruled that the law violated the fundamental right to equality under Article 14.
    • Discrimination based on place of birth and residence.
  • Freedom of Trade and Commerce:
    • Violation of the fundamental right to freedom of trade and commerce under Article 19(1)(g).
    • Imposed unreasonable restrictions on employers, irrespective of merit and suitability.
  • Constitutional Vision Concerns:
    • Court expressed concern that the law could lead to similar enactments by states, creating unintended barriers against the Constitution’s vision.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024