The Punjab and Haryana high court has set aside provisions of Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admissions in Educational Institutions) Act 2016 through which the state had fixed income criteria to give quota under the backward class category.
A division bench comprising Justices Mahesh Grover and Mahabir Singh Sandhu passed the orders yesterday while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by young aspirants to the MBBS course in Haryana under BC quota.
According to the rule, which has been set aside, children of persons having gross annual income of upto Rs 3 lakh would get the benefit of reservation first in services and admission in educational institutions.
The rest of the quota will go to such class of BCs who are part of Rs 3 lakh to Rs six lakh per annum category.
The bench observed that the impugned notification is bad in law as there is no established co-relation between the socially backward and economically deprived.
The court said economic criteria and well-being can be one of the indicators for social uplift but can't be the sole criterion.
The court said the state has faltered in prescribing this criterion for the reason that it is not substantiated by any verifiable data to establish social backwardness of the classes that stand to benefit.
The social advancement of a caste or a group would have to be identified on an empirical data and it cannot be assumed straightway that those with income above Rs 3 lakh would have unshackled the social backwardness, such an exclusion from within the identified backward class cannot stand the test of constitutional requirement, the bench observed.
The court also set aside the merit list prepared for the admission to state's medical colleges and ordered fresh counselling.
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