A Socio-Legal Study Of Reservation in India With Special Reference To Human Rights


  • Aarti Research Scholar (Law), G.D Goenka University, Sohna, Haryana, (India) image/svg+xml




Reservation of SC/STs and OBCs, Human Rights,, After independence.


Reservation as a concept is very wide. Different people understand reservation to mean different things. One view of reservation as a generic concept is that reservation is an anti-poverty measure. There is a different view which says that reservations are merely providing a right of access and that it is not a right to redressal.1 In Constitution of India it states that Article 15 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth) and article 16 (equality of opportunity) to insert new clauses that allow the government to make “special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizen” other than SC/STs and OBCs. In the international human rights context, the State may modify their obligations under international human rights treaties by entering reservations. Reservations are a particularly technical area of international law, but the study of this rather dry in the context of international human rights law is enlightening. According to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties VCLT, reservation is “a unilateral statement… made by a state, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a treaty, where, it purports to exclude or modify the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty. The aim of a reservation is to limit a state‟s obligations under a particular treaty. International Law is not formalistic „general political statement‟ or a „declaration of interpretation‟. States have availed themselves broadly of the possibility of reservations, both quantitatively and qualitatively. There is no doubt that the reservation is problematic for international human rights law. Human rights are clearly more of a „package‟ that most international normative instrument. Reservations also create problems legal certainty, making it difficult for individuals to ascertain the exact scope of the rights they have been guaranteed. In fact, international human rights law has also evolved specific notions of what reservations are permissible, who may decide on their permissibility, and what consequences flow from reservations.


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Supra note 3 at


Supra note 4 at



Article 2(a) of VCLT, 1969 enforcement date 27 January, 1980.

Article 2(d) of the VCLT, 1969.

Jean kyongun koh, Reservations to Multilateral Treaties: how international legal doctrine note 18 pages 95. Reflects world vision, 23 HARV. INT’L L.J.71, 71

Article 19 deals with the formulation of reservation, Article 20 with acceptance of and objections to reservations, Article 21 with the legal effects of reservations and objections, Article 22 provides the rules for the withdrawal of reservations and objections, and finally, Article 23 states the procedural rules concerning reservations.

Vienna convention on the law of treaties (Vienna convention) (23 May, 1969, 1155 UNTS 331) ART1 (1) (a).




Super note 18 at





Supra note 20 at



Supra note 25 at

AIR 1993 SC 477.



AIR 1993 SC2178

(2006) 8 SCC 212.


(2011) 1 SCC 467: AIR 2011 SC 874: 2011 AIR SCW 738

Super note 32 at

Dr. Jai S. Singh, Dr. V.P. Upadhaya: Expanding Horizons of Human Rights under the Constitution of India: Ashok Law House, New Delhi: Edition 2017 Page no.2


Daniel Moeckli, Sangeeta Shah & Sandesh Sivakumaran: International Human Rights Law: Oxford 2nd Edition 2010 Page no.108.



How to Cite

Aarti. (2019). A Socio-Legal Study Of Reservation in India With Special Reference To Human Rights. Legal Research Development, 4(1), 01–03. https://doi.org/10.53724/lrd/v4n1.02