Jharkhand governor CP Radhakrishnan has sent the ‘1932 Khatiyan Bill’ back to the Hemant Soren government for reconsideration, describing it to be violative of Article 16 of the Constitution and court rulings, a development that could lead to a further showdown between the state government and Raj Bhawan.
There is another possibility. The Soren government may amend the same bill by taking into account legality in accordance with the advise of Governor CP Radhakrishnan.
Before this on January 29, Governor Ramesh Bais had returned the same bill observing almost the same.
This time, however, Governor Radhakrishnan has opined that if the state assembly wants it can make a year-period reservation for the Third and Fourth-grade jobs for “ local “ residents.
Notably, the state government at a special session on November 11, 2022, had passed the “Jharkhand definition of local persons and for extending the consequential, social, cultural and other benefits to such local persons Bill, 2022”, popularly known as the 1932 Khatiyan Bill.
As per the bill, only those who have their, or names of their ancestors, in the Khatiyan (land records) of 1932 or before will be considered as local inhabitants of Jharkhand and only they would be entitled to grade 3 and 4 jobs in the state.
As per the Bill provisions, the new law would come into effect only after the Centre includes it in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
A law in the Ninth Schedule is shielded from judicial review. The state government had sent the Bill to Raj Bhawan for its assent and forwarded it to the Centre for its inclusion in the ninth schedule.