Backward Classes with respect to Article 16-A

Backward Classes with respect to Article 16-A

This article is written by Abigail Antony a student from Lovely Professional University pursuing an LLB, BA Hons. This article has clearly elaborated on the Right to equality, especially in matters of public employment. This is mostly based on the grounds of sex, Race, Religion, caste, descent, residence, and place of birth. Or any of them as they are said to be the basic ground of discrimination, especially in employment in both private and public areas or sectors.

What is employment?

It is a relationship or agreement that exists between two parties or sides regulating or conducting the provision of paid labour wages services. Usually based on a contract or the contribution of one party, the employer, which might be a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, a co-operative, or any other entity, pays the other, the employee, in return for carrying out assigned work.

What are equal employment opportunities?

Equal employment opportunity is a concept that emphasises that opportunities in employment should be freely available and wide open without any restrictions to all citizens irrespective of a person’s ethnic origin, political association, religion, sex, race, colour, gender, belief/Religion, disability, military status, genetic information and age that has no bearing on his qualification, performance, and ability meaning That the creativity that an individual bares to perform a particular task within the specified field.

Equal employment opportunity does not guarantee hiring a potential employee; instead, the purpose is that no one is rejected based on any discrimination. Since the word equality is based on the common goal one has to a specified employment.

Background Facts

The word discrimination is said to have originated during colonial rule and the American Civil War the term “discrimination” generally evolved in American English usage as an understanding of the prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their race, later generalized as membership in a certain socially undesirable group or social category.

Some of these backward classes that were discriminated against during the time were;

  • Women in terms of sex
  • Old people in terms of age
  • Blacks in terms of race
  • Low-class group in terms of classes and others to mention a few

Some of these countries that were affected during the time are the USA, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, and Philippines.

The most affected group in this category were said to be the women since they were seen as people of the low category and they are restricted towards their basic rights such as rights to education, right towards employment, forced marriage and others. Hence they are said to be among the special group to be concentrated on.

Causes of discrimination in the employment areas


Ageism or age discrimination is discrimination and stereotyping based on the grounds of someone’s age. It is a set of beliefs, norms, and values which used to justify discrimination or subordination based on a person’s age. Ageism is most often directed toward elderly people, adolescents and children.

This group are seen as they are able to work hence they are forced to work retirement, and sometimes they are paid low wages, especially children as they are also working in a risky environment.


You shouldn’t be treated less favourably (for example, being refused employment) because of your sexual orientation or because an employer thinks you are of a certain sexual orientation and sometimes of a certain sex or gender.

If an employer gives benefits to unmarried partners of its employees, for example, an employee’s opposite-sex partner is able to drive the company car, refusing the same benefits to same-sex partners could be discrimination since they prioritise the unmarried as they are said to be energetic and have full time and attention. To certain working areas.

A civil partnership partner is entitled to the same benefits as a married person, like survivor benefits under a company pension scheme for example.

Also in this sector men are being given more priority compared to women as they have wide access.


Meaning that It is against the law to discriminate against a worker because of their religion or belief. So, if your employer is introducing a new shift pattern which will be difficult for you because of your religion, it may be that you are the victim of discrimination because of religion. This has been a big problem in the world of employment hence causing discrimination


Meaning low-class people are being affected in the world of employment, especially in public areas

Hence these are the most important grounds for discrimination, especially in public employment.

Case laws

M. Thomas Vs State of Kerala

Understanding the phrase “Matters relating to employment and appointment”

All matters relating to employment, both previous to and subsequent to the employment, which are incidental to the employment and constitute part of the terms and conditions of such employment must be included in the expression “Matters relating to employment and appointment.”

As a result, the guarantee in clause (1) will include:

  • Initial appointments,
  • Promotions,
  • Termination of employment,
  • Salary, periodic increments, leave, gratuity, pension and age of superannuation, among other things.

Article 16(1) also addresses the principle of equal pay for equal work.

In the case, Justice V.R Krishna Iyer correctly observed that the benefits of reservation were, by and large, snatched up by the top creamy layer of the backward classes or classes, thus keeping the weakest among the weak always weak and leaving the fortunate layers to consume the entire cake.

Measures of greater education and more career prospects have been significantly lessened by the passage of time.


States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender- and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognize and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age-, gender- and disability-sensitive.

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