Haryana government may file review petition: CM Saini after SC junks state’s plea on quashing extra-marks policy


PTI, Jun 25, 2024, 8:12 AM IST

Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini (Credit: PTI)

Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Monday said his government will consider filing a review petition or bringing a bill in the Assembly, hours after the Supreme Court upheld a high court order quashing the state’s policy of granting additional marks to its residents in recruitment exams for government jobs.

Terming the Haryana government’s policy a “populist measure”, a vacation bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal refused to interfere with the high court order that had held as unconstitutional the socioeconomic criterion prescribed by the state for granting additional marks to certain classes of candidates in state government jobs.

“We respect the Supreme Court verdict,” Saini told reporters here.

However, he said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government launched the scheme in 2018 to give additional marks to candidates from the poor, weak and deprived sections of the society.

“Our socio-economic policy is based on the principle of antyodaya,” Saini said.

“Our government is fighting for the rights of poor. If need be, we will bring a bill in the Assembly. Our government strongly stands with the poor. Even if we have to file a review petition (in the court) or bring a bill in the Assembly, we are with the poor,” he added.

Saini, along with his cabinet colleagues and some BJP MLAs, had gone to Ayodhya in the morning to offer prayers at the Ram temple.

The chief minister was interacting with reporters here upon his return.

The state government had introduced the socioeconomic criterion a few years ago. It was aimed at providing additional marks to certain classes of candidates, including those who do not have a government employee in the family, are state-domiciled and their families’ annual income not exceeding Rs 1.8 lakh.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s May 31 order.

On May 31, the high court struck down the Haryana government’s policy of granting 5 per cent bonus marks on the basis of the socioeconomic status of candidates who are state residents in the CET for group “C” and group “D” posts.

It had ruled that no state can restrict employment to its own residents by allowing the benefit of 5 per cent weightage in marks and said, “The respondents (the state government) have created an artificial classification to the similarly-situated candidates applying for the posts.”

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