Recently, the NIA special court in Mohali took action to seize land owned by Lakhbir Singh in Punjab's Moga district under Section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This section empowers judges to confiscate both movable and immovable property of proclaimed offenders involved in serious crimes
The Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that the contentious Haryana law requiring a 75% reservation for state residents in private sector jobs was unconstitutional and invalidated it.
Following its passage in 2020, the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act saw multiple revisions. Originally, it stated that individuals holding resident or domicile certificates would be given preference for 75% of private sector jobs paying less than ₹ 30,000 per month. The 15-year residence requirement had been reduced to five years.
The decision is viewed as a major setback for the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government, which had implemented the law with the intention of uniting the votes of the local communities, particularly the Jat community, with less than a year to go before the Assembly elections in Haryana. It’s likely that the state will file an appeal of the ruling.
The Jannayak Janata Party, an ally of the BJP in the state whose leader, Dushyant Chautala, holds the position of deputy chief minister, was credited with the idea behind the Act, which was approved by the Haryana Assembly in November 2020 and signed into law by the Governor in March 2021. One of Chautala’s major pledges prior to the 2019 Assembly elections was to provide the reservation.
The state government of Haryana stated that the “influx of migrants competing for low-paid jobs places a significant impact on local infrastructure and housing, and leads to proliferation of slums” when introducing the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill in 2020.
The Bill’s justification for its introduction was that it was “socially, economically, and environmentally desirable” and “in the interests of the general public” to give local candidates preference in low-paying positions.
The Gurugram Industrial Association along with other employer bodies filed a petition against the law in the high court. The petitioners had claimed that the law violated employers’ constitutional rights because it was based on the sons-of-the-soil theory. Additionally, they claimed that the Act went against the Constitution’s cherished ideals of justice, equality, liberty, and fraternity.