This article is written by Aryan Pathania pursuing B.A.LL.B. (2nd year) from the School of Law, Lovely Professional University. This article is about one of the fundamental rights of a citizen of India i.e., Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Here this article includes all the information about the Right to Equality.
No of their caste, ethnicity, location of birth, religion, or gender, all Indian people are guaranteed certain fundamental rights under Part III of the Indian Constitution. These fundamental rights are referred to as justified fundamental rights. These were referred to by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as the parts of the constitution that most directly affected citizens. These are seen as being a crucial component of the constitution because they guard the liberties and rights of the people of the nation from any abuse or intrusion by the government, which in a democracy has the authority to do so. These are the negative responsibilities that the government and people have. The Preamble’s objectives of justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, and dignity are attempted to be attained by these rights.
The fundamental rights are classified under six heads under the constitution:
- Right to equality (Art. 14 – Art 18)
- Right to freedom (Art. 19 – Art 22)
- Right against exploitation (Art.23- Art. 24)
- Right to freedom of religion (Art 25- 28)
- Right to minorities (Cultural and educational rights) (Art 29- Art 30)
- Right to constitutional remedies (Art. 32 – Art. 35)
Here, we are going to discuss in detail the provision of the Right to equality embedded in Article 14 to Article 18.
What is the Right to equality?
Democracy can only thrive and flourish where the individuals in the society are treated equally and without discrimination. Thus, it was felt by the framers of the Constitution to incorporate a such provision to remove the hurdle of existing social and economical inequalities and enable the diverse communities of the country to enjoy the rights and liberties guaranteed under the constitution. It was believed to be essential to remove inequalities based on religion, social norms, and age-old traditions practised in parts of India, like untouchability, casteism, race discrimination, etc.
- The Right to equality means the absence of legal discrimination only on grounds of caste, race, religion, sex, and place of birth and ensures equal rights to all
- It is considered a basic feature of the Indian
- The Right to equality is both a positive equality as well as a negative
Under the Indian Constitution, the Right to equality is divided under the following subheadings:
- Equality before law (Article 14)
- Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, race, sex or place of birth (Article 15)
- Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16)
- Abolition of untouchability (Article 17)
- Abolition of titles (Article 18)
- Under the Right to Equality, Article 14 provides a general application whereas 15, Art. 16, Art. 17 and Art. 18 have a specific application.
Right to equality under Article 14
Within the boundaries of India, the State shall not deny anyone equality before the law or equal protection of the laws.
- The goal of Article 14 is to give everyone “equality of “
- It seeks to establish India’s “rule of “
- Both citizens and non-citizens are eligible for this
- It is applicable to all people, whether legal or natural.
Equal protection of the laws
- It is a logical extension of equality before the
- It is based on the last clause of the first section of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
- All individuals under the territorial jurisdiction are to have equal protection, according to this
- This suggests that such protection ought to be provided without favouritism or
- In terms of the legal advantages and obligations imposed, this entails equal treatment under comparable
- The state has a duty to ensure that everyone has access to such equitable protection, which it should accomplish by enacting the required social and economic adjustments.
Exceptions to Rule of law
Parliament does not have the time or the variety of technical knowledge necessary to fully analyse a law’s intricate details. As a result, the cabinet and the administration add substantial details and rules after the parliament establishes the framework, guiding principles, and objectives of the bill.
In order to lighten the load on traditional courts and to offer the technical expertise needed to decide such matters, the Parliament has established a number of tribunals and departments that are endowed with some judicial and quasi-judicial functions. The creation of these tribunals and departments represents a shift from the traditional understanding of the rule of law.
Application of article 14
In some landmark decisions, key principles that further clarify the meaning of Article 14 and legislative classification have been established. Following are a few of those.
Union of India v. Charanjit Lal Chowdhury
Facts: When a mill was shuttered as a result of the company’s poor management and negligence, the Central Government enacted an ordinance that later became a law called “The Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. (Emergency provision) Act 1950.” In addition to unemployment and dissatisfaction, the company’s actions caused a shortage of vital supplies in the nation.
The petitioner added to the argument by claiming that the Act violated Article 14 because just one company was subjected to restrictions.
No distinction in classification
Facts in P. Rajendran v. State of Madras
According to the ratio of a district’s population to the state’s overall population, there is a provision relating to the distribution of seats in the State Medical colleges on a district-by-district basis.
The Court overturned the clause and said that any admissions plan should be created to choose the best applicants, as it is unfair to choose a less talented applicant over a great applicant simply on the basis of population. The district-by-district seat distribution falls short of the goal.
The right to equality is considered a fundamental feature of the Indian constitution and plays an important role in achieving social and economic justice in our society where the elevation of certain classes is considered essential for the prosperity of our country. It emphasizes the fundamental unity of individuals by offering equal opportunities and treatment to all. All other privileges and freedoms come from the right to equality. It gives every person in the country all the elements necessary for the development of his personality.
Thus, the courts considered guardians of the constitution ensure that the right to equality is interpreted in its broadest sense so that it realizes the objectives set by the framers of the constitution.