New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to entertain a plea challenging legal provisions which provide 100 per cent reservation to domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in public employment.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat asked Ladakh-based lawyer Najum Ul Huda to move the Jammu and Kashmir High Court with his plea.
The plea had sought “quashing of sections 3A, 5A, 6, 7 and 8 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act as violative of Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India as these sections direct 100 per cent reservation to domicile of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir in public employment.”
The plea, filed through lawyer Nishant Khatri, said that since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, the UT is equally subject to all laws and the Supreme Court judgments which are applicable to the rest of the country.
“Therefore, if any reservation has to be granted in the UT on the basis of residence, the same may be done only in consonance with Article 16(3) of the Constitution,” the plea said.
It said that section 5A of the law which says that only domicile of the state shall be eligible for appointment to any post was violative of Article 16 (3) of the Constitution which guarantees equal opportunity in employment.
The plea further said that the reservations contemplated in Article 16 should not exceed 50 per cent.
In March, the government issued the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020 which notified changes in the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act.
Section 5A of the Act stated that Level 4 posts will be reserved for domiciles.
In August last year, parliament abolished Article 370 , which had provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and then divided the state into two UTs which were Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.