Supreme Court clarifies the position of law on vertical and horizontal reservations 

  • IASbaba
  • January 7, 2021
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Supreme Court clarifies the position of law on vertical and horizontal reservations 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Judiciary

In news 

  • The Supreme Court clarified the position of law on vertical and horizontal reservations recently. 
  • The decision in Saurav Yadav Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh dealt with issues arising from the way different classes of reservation were to be applied in the selection process to fill posts of constables in the state.

Key takeaways 

  • The court ruled that if a person belonging to an intersection of vertical-horizontal reserved category had secured scores high enough to qualify without the vertical reservation, the person would be counted as qualifying without the vertical reservation, and cannot be excluded from the horizontal quota in the general category.
  • It argued that if both vertical and horizontal quotas were to be applied together then the overall selection would have candidates with lower scores.

Important value additions 

  • Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes is referred to as vertical reservation.
  • It applies separately for each of the groups specified under the law.
  • Horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories.
  • The horizontal quota is applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board.
  • The interlocking of the two types of reservation throws up a host of questions on how certain groups are to be identified. 
  • For example would an SC woman be put in the category of women or SC?

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