SRINAGAR: The J&K high court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and the Union Territory administration on a petition challenging the legal validity of 100 per cent reservation of government jobs for permanent residents, including those who have recently acquired domicile certificates.
Admitting the petition, the single-judge bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan gave the respondents four weeks to file their replies on the contention that Section 5A of the amended
Jammu and Kashmir
Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act of 2010 contradicts Article 16(3) of the Constitution, which guarantees equal opportunity in employment to all citizens.
The three petitioners — Ladakh lawyer
and Haryana residents
and Sachin Miglani — had first approached the Supreme Court, but were told on July 15 that any grievance about job reservation in J&K should be heard by the high court there before exploring any further legal recourse.
In its March 31 executive order on 100% reservation in public employment for anyone domiciled in the Union Territory of J&K,
the ministry of home affairs
specified that the rule would be applicable to anyone who has stayed in the Valley for more than 15 years or cleared the Class 10 and 12 exams from a local institution.
According to the J&K Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020, which notified changes to Section 5A of the 2010 recruitment act, all Level 4 posts will henceforth be reserved for people domiciled in the Valley.
The petitioners have argued that any reservation under Article 16 should not exceed 50 per cent. Another contention is that Parliament never delegated the lawmaking powers of Article 16(3) of the Constitution to the central government under Section 96 of the
and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
“The power delegated under Section 96 was only for the purpose of facilitating the applications of the already prevailing law in the former state of Jammu and Kashmir or to make laws applicable to the new Union Territory. Every modification or adaptation of any law shall be done in that reference only and not beyond,” the petition states.
“The petitioners further contend that the power delegated under Section 96 shall not be in any manner construed as delegation of parliamentary power of Article 16(3) of Constitution of India.”