Private Employers Cannot Be Forced To Employ Persons From A Particular State - Punjab & Haryana HC

The State cannot as such discriminate against individuals on account of the fact that they do not belong to a certain State and have a negative discrimination against other citizens of the country, the court said.


The Punjab & Haryana High Court on Friday declared the 75% domicile reservation for locals in Haryana in the private sector jobs having a monthly salary of less than Rs 30,000 as illegal.

The court decided upon a legal question involved in a series of cases regarding the vires of The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020, and whether the same is unconstitutional.

The petitioners' Association is stated to be duly registered under the provisions of the Haryana Registration & Regulation of Societies Act, 2012 comprising of allottees of industrial plots/sites at Industrial Model Township, in Manesar, who are carrying on their industrial and business activities in the State of Haryana. The resolutions in favour of the authorized representatives have been duly appended. 

The petitioners lay challenge to 'the 2020 Act' on account of the fact that it provides reservation in private employment and creates an unprecedented intrusion by the State Government into the fundamental rights of the private employers to carry on their business and trade as provided under Article 19 of Constitution of India. Similarly, infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution of India is also alleged in as much as all citizens of the country would have a right to equal employment, to reside, and to settle in the State of Haryana, and the Act, thus, represents a serious assault on the unity and integrity of the country and the idea of a common Indian identity.

The stand of the State in its reply was that the members of the petitioner-Association had been allotted industrial plots at subsidized rates for carrying out their business and trade and, therefore, there was a pre-condition in the allotment that 75% of the employment was to be given to the persons having domicile of Haryana where the posts are not of technical nature. The policies of the years 2005 and 2011 of the HSIIDC provided such preconditions which were appended along with the respective regular letter of allotments. 

The State also stated that private employers were not offering or were reluctant to provide jobs to the local people in the State of Haryana. It was this aspect of unemployment of the local population that had to be addressed on a priority basis. The classification was alleged to be founded on the intelligible differentia distinguishing persons or things that are grouped together and stated to have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved.

Siding with the construct of social morality, the court exercised its judicial wisdom and said that the State cannot direct private employers to do what has been forbidden to do under the Constitution and other connected matters in India. It cannot as such discriminate against individuals on account of the fact that they do not belong to a certain State and have a negative discrimination against other citizens of the country.

The apex court was of the opinion that once there is a bar under the Constitution of India, we do not see any reason how the State can force a private employer to employ a local candidate as it would lead to large-scale state enactments providing similar protection for their residents and putting up artificial walls throughout the country, which the framers of the Constitution had never envisaged.

In the present case, the private employer being a builder, for example, raising a multi-storeyed complex, cannot be asked not to employ a person who is skilled in the work of installation of the woodwork who might come from a particular area of the country i.e. Kashmir; where this skill has been enhanced, whereas, from another part of the country, labour which is more skilled in setting up the steel frames and building are found i.e. Punjab; whereas similar persons with different skills who would be more proficient in just executing the civil work i.e. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. 

"It is not for the State as such to direct the private employer who it has to employ keeping in view the principles of laissez faire that “the lesser it governs, the better itself, the court said”


Tags assigned to this article:


Around The World