|Introduction: Mention recent state laws on reservation for locals.|
Body: Write the impact of these laws on the fundamental rights in detail.
Conclusion: Give a way forward.
The Constitution has established India as one nation with all citizens having equal fundamental rights to live, travel and work anywhere in the country.
In the last three years, three states (Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand) have enacted laws that restrict employment for citizens from out side the State.
These laws have an adverse impact on the fundamental rights of citizens.
- Against freedom to carry out any occupation: Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution guarantees freedom to carry out any occupation, trade or business with reasonable restrictions. These Acts, by requiring private businesses to reserve lower end jobs for locals, encroaches upon the citizens right to carry out any occupation.
- The fundamental right to reside anywhere in the country under Article 19(1)(e) is also impacted, albeit indirectly, due to limit on the right to seek employment in another state.
- Against equal opportunity in employment: Article 16 of the Constitution specifically provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in public employment and prohibits discrimination based on place of birth and residence. However, the article permits only Parliament to make law that requires residence within a State for appointment to a public office under this provision. Hence, these state laws go against these Fundamental Rights in two aspects
- This specific limitation based on residence is for public employment and not for private sector jobs.
- The law needs to be made by Parliament, and not by a State legislature.
- The law enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Haryana has reserved 75% of the seats for the local residents of the state. In Indra Sawhney case in 1992, the Supreme Court capped reservations in public services at 50%. The breach of 50% limit is violative of the Supreme Court Judgment.
These state laws apart from violating fundamental rights, also go against the ideal of unity in diversity, which is a unifying force in Indian society.
These laws have adverse economic implications as well.
- It will increase the cost for the companies.
- It will hamper migration from poor states, increasing income inequality and trapping them in perpetual poverty.
These laws have been challenged in the Judiciary. The Courts, while adjudicating whether these laws violate fundamental rights, should also examine whether they breach the basic structure of the Constitution.