Right to Equality under Constitution of India

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in the world, none of us can truly rest” – Nelson Mandela

The purpose of this study is to identify the general principle of “equal rights”. The term “equal rights” needs no explanation as it stands for itself. And it’s one of our basic rights. But there are some hidden points that need clarification. This research project highlights the points and exceptions permitted under the Indian Constitution. Also, would it help to know why discrimination is allowed under the Indian Constitution?

Equal Rights under Section 14 of the Indian Law. It is one of our basic rights. It guarantees everyone the right to equality before the law and equal protection under the law. It is not only a right of Indian citizens, but also a right of non-citizens. Article 14 states: All are equal before the law.

The state is binding to provide every person, equality before the law. This means that all persons residing in Indian territory have equal rights before the law. The meaning is the same for all on the same line. There is no discrimination based on religion, race, caste, gender or origin. This means that all people are treated as equals among equals and there is no discrimination based on the lower or upper class.

The State does not deny equality under the law or equal protection under the law within the territory of India. PROTECTION Prohibit discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth. Describing the concept of legal equality as practised in the UK, Professor Dicey said:

“All public servants, from prime ministers to police officers to tax collectors, are held accountable for their illegal activities just like any other citizen.”

Pantanjali Sastri, c.j. states that it is difficult to imagine a situation where the second term is a consequence of the first term and the violation of the law is not a violation of equality before the law.

According to Dr Jennings: “Equality before the law means that the law is equal to all, and should be administered equally, and such should be treated equally. Race, religion The right to sue and be sued, and to be prosecuted and to be prosecuted for the same kind of conduct, is equal to all adults and understanding citizens, without distinction of wealth, social status, or political influence. should.”

To further clarify the concept and legal classification of Article 14, several landmark decisions set out certain key principles. Some of them are listed below.

In its judgment of Stephen’s College v. Delhi-Under University, the court ruled that “equal protection of the law ensures equal protection of the law by bringing about the social and economic change needed for all to benefit.” The ruling has come to be read as a positive duty of the State to “…” be equally protected under the law, and no one is denied that protection. When states leave existing inequalities untouched by law, they violate their obligations to provide equal protection for all through law. The State provides equal protection to all Indians who are Indian citizens and to all Indian citizens.

Rule of Law

The principle of “equality before the law” in Article 14 is largely based on the concept of the rule of law put forward by A.V. Dichy. It states that all individuals, governments, and other institutions should be governed by law and not by the arbitrary actions of individuals or groups of individuals. Regardless of a person’s rank or status, it should be subject to the jurisdiction of ordinary courts, not special jurisdiction. It also states that government decisions should be based on legal and moral principles laid down in the Supreme Law (the Indian Constitution in the case of India).

The theory of Dicey has three pillars, they are:

  1. Supremacy of law

There should be no arbitrariness and no one should be punished except for breaking the law. In order to punish him according to legal procedures, a criminal offense must be proven by the state authorities before a regular court.

  1. Equality before the law

All persons, regardless of class or status (rich or poor, civil servant, non-civil servant, etc.), must be subject to Common His Land Laws administered by ordinary courts. It aims to ensure that the law is fairly and fairly administered and enforced. It has also been incorporated into the Preamble and Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It means that the law gives equal justice to all.

  1. Legal supremacy

Dicey believed that an executive body was needed to effectively enforce the two principles above. In his opinion, such enforcement bodies should be “courts”.

Article 361 Constitutional Law of India

The President or Governor of any State or Rajpramukh shall not be liable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act he has done or alleged to have done in the exercise and exercise thereof. shall not be held responsible for Rights and Obligations. When the actions of the president can be confirmed

Exceptions to the rule of law

  • Delegated legislation

Congress does not have the time to go through the details of every law, nor does it have the diverse technical expertise required for complex and specific laws. As such, Parliament creates the framework, outlining the principles and objectives of the bill, and extensive details and rules are added by the Cabinet and Executive.

  • Administrative court decisions

Congress has created specific courts with several judicial and quasi-judicial powers to reduce the burden of traditional courts and provide the technical knowledge needed to decide such cases. and established departments. The establishment of such courts and departments is a departure from the traditional notion of the rule of law.

The drafters of the constitution intended India to be governed by the rule of law. Traces of the rule of law can be found in the preamble, fundamental rights, and other articles of the Constitution.

Basic principle

The underlying principle of equal rights is not to treat everyone equally, but to treat similar aspects equally and different aspects differently.

Ending inequality requires a wise sorting of people so that appropriate policies can be formulated to help reduce inequality as much as possible. It is the duty of States to reduce inequality by enacting specific socio-economic policies for the benefit of those whom they believe such benefits are necessary for their advancement.

However, it should be noted that all humans should be treated humanely and there should be no categorization according to the human side of an individual. In order to achieve the purpose behind the provision of Article 14, equality should be treated equally and inequality differently, and for this reason a legal classification is necessary.

legal classification

Effective law enforcement requires laws that group people according to equal and unequal dimensions. Such a classification is necessary because not all laws apply universally to everyone due to differences in social, cultural and economic conditions. Different needs of different individuals need to be addressed differently by the law. We need appropriate laws to ensure that different needs are treated differently for common interests, property, people and occupations. In fact, the prevailing treatment of unequal conditions can lead to social inequality. Such special classification by Congress is therefore necessary for good reason: to reduce social inequality. There are many examples of special laws that apply only to certain classes, such as the Delhi Special Police Act 1946 (which applies specifically to the police profession) and the Minimum Wages Act 1948 (which applies to minimum wages). Article 14 allows for rational classification but prohibits class classification.

A valid classification test

Classifications must be fair and reasonable and must relate to the necessity and purpose of the law under which they are being classified.

The object of classification must be legitimate. In Subramanian Swamy v. CBI, it was held that “where the purpose itself is discriminatory, the explanation that the classification is appropriate and reasonably related to the purpose sought is immaterial.”

Where certain groups of people are not covered by a particular law, the such exclusion must have a reasonable basis.

A test was developed to ensure that the classification is valid, not arbitrary, and does not violate the right to equality. For a valid classification, the following two conditions must be met.

Understandable discrimination (intellectual reason for classification)

Understandable differences are differences that are obvious and understandable.

The classification of persons or things grouped together from others excluded from the group must be based on intellectual reasons.

Single person laws

  • Charanjit Lal Chowdhury v. Union of India 
  • Facts- Central Government issued an ordinance which later became an Act named ‘The Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. (Emergency provision) Act 1950’ when due to mismanagement and neglect of the company a mill was closed. The action of the company led to the scarcity of essential commodities in the country apart from unemployment and unrest.
  • Argument- it was augmented by the petitioner that the Act was violative of Article 14 because a single company was subjected to disabilities.
  • Supreme court dismissed the petition and held that a law can be constitutional even though it relates to a single individual if, on account of some special circumstances, or reasons applicable to him and not applicable to others, that single individual can be treated as a class by himself.

Classification without a difference

  • Rajendran v. State of Madras
  • Facts- There is a provision relating to district-wise seat distribution in the State Medical colleges according to the proportion of the population in a district to the total population of the state.
  • The Court struck down the provision and held that any scheme of admission should be devised to select the best available talent for admission as it is discriminatory to select a less talented candidate against a talented candidate just on a population basis. The district-wise seat distribution doesn’t meet the objective.

Special Courts and Procedural Inequalities

Maganlal Chhaganlal (P) Ltd. Corps Against City. From Greater Bombay

FACT – The validity of certain provisions of the Bombay Municipal Enterprises Act, 1888, as amended and the Government Establishment (Eviction) Act, 1955, is a specific reason that the above laws implement special eviction procedures for government-unauthorized residents. has been questioned because it gave authorities the authority to perform and company premises. Arguments – There are two procedures available, one based on the CPC and one based on the above two legal acts, with no guidance to follow. In doing so, he violates Article 14.

The SC notes that where legislation authorizes executive branches to make classifications, such bylaws, whether in the form of preambles, objectives or other similar provisions, should provide guidance. I decided there was. Where the law gives sufficient instructions, it is sufficient for the authorities to proceed not according to ordinary civil court procedures, but according to special procedures for the purposes of the law. Therefore, a law cannot be repealed just because it prescribes a special procedure. IV. Procedural Justice

Maneka Gandhi vs UOI’1978

Fact – Maneka Gandhi was issued a passport under the Passport Act 1967. The Regional Passport Officer of New Delhi sent a letter to Maneka his Gandhi requesting that he surrender his passport in accordance with section 10(3)(c) of the Passport Acting in the Public Interest, and from receipt of the letter he was 7 Issued within days. Maneka Gandhi immediately wrote to the New Delhi Regional Passport Officer in exchange for a copy of the justification for such an order. However, in the public interest, the State Department declined to cite such a reason.

The SC held that Article 14 required compliance with the principles of natural law and the need for rational decisions.

Management Discretion

Where charter classification is subject to management discretion, there should be specific policies or guidelines as to how that discretion is exercised in the charter.

If guidelines are not given, such conduct shall be deemed a violation of Article 14 and such law shall be repealed by the courts. Legislative bodies are not required to provide such guidelines expressly, subject to their preamble, their purpose, and other similar provisions.

Article 14 Permissions and Prohibitions

Article 14 permits classification, but prohibits classification. Equal legal protection guaranteed by Article 14 does not mean that all laws must be of a general nature. This does not mean that the same laws should apply to everyone. This does not mean that all laws must have universal validity, and not everyone is in the same position by their nature, achievements, or circumstances. Different needs of different groups of people often require individualized treatment. The nature of society requires that different places exist, and legislative bodies manage politics and enact legislation in the best interest of national safety and security. In fact, equality in unequal situations leads to inequality. Therefore, meaningful classifications for development companies are allowed. Articles are prohibited, and class laws are prohibited, but the reasonable classification is not. However, the classification shall not be “arbitrary, artificial, or evasive” and shall be based on real and substantive distinctions proportional to purposes required by law and proportionate to fair and reasonable grounds. must be But where equality and inequality are treated differently, article 14 makes class laws that engage in excessive discrimination by granting particular privileges to classes of people arbitrarily chosen from among the majority. It does not apply. A privilege in which no rational or substantive difference can be seen between who is less favored and which justifies the inclusion of one and the exclusion of the other from this privilege. Special Regulations for Women and Children, SC, ST and Reverse Classes:

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution states that all people are equal under the law. No one can stop the state from making special provisions for women and children. For example, special seating arrangements for women on buses, trains and subways are not unconstitutional. The court noted that “some places within the university are reserved for women.”

According to Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, adultery is considered a crime when committed by a man and not when committed by a woman, so women cannot be prosecuted for abetting or abetting. There are special provisions for women and it is clear that Article 15(3) of the Constitution applies.

In the case of Air India v. Nargesh Meerza, Rule 46 of the Indian Airlines Regulations requires flight attendants to retire either upon reaching the age of 35, marrying within four years of starting service or becoming pregnant for the first time. I have decided. The case was previously uncovered, but under Rule 47 of the Ordinance Act, a manager may extend her retirement age by one year beyond retirement age if a flight attendant is found to be medically ill. She had the option to extend until age 45. The court ruled that stewardess due to pregnancy was inappropriate and arbitrary and violated Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. The rules do not limit marriage after four years, and if a flight attendant becomes pregnant after fulfilling the conditions, there is no reason why the first pregnancy should be a hindrance to her continuing obligations. said the termination of its services was clearly unreasonable and arbitrary and therefore violated Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

John Baramatom v. Union of India, Section 118 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, the Court revoked the right of Christians to make valid wills for religious or charitable purposes only if they were made at least 12 months before death. The court made the application of the statutes and provisions of limitation only to Christian artists, without mentioning any legal purpose. In the case of P. Rajendan v. State medical college seats were allocated by district based on the percentage of the district’s population, it said. Classification under Article 14 must be valid and there must be a link between classification and purpose. A system of admission rules should be developed in order to select the best candidates for admission to state medical colleges. It is effectively discriminatory as a good candidate from one district may be rejected while a less qualified candidate from another district may be admitted.

In the case of D.S. Nakara v Union of India, the Supreme Court held that Rule 34 of the Central Service (Pensions) Regulations, 1972 was unconstitutional for that reason.

Equitable law is a legal system separate from common law. It has different rules, principles and remedies. Therefore, in order to understand the principles on which equity law is based, it is necessary to examine the origins of the legal system and the reasons for its requirements, even though they exist. H. of common law. Common law is the customary law that originated in the Curia Regis (Royal Palace) in London. English common law was developed primarily by judges and was based on court decisions and precedents. Countries have recognized the need for judicial law for two main reasons:

Under common law, the only remedy was damaged. Therefore, fair and equitable common law remedies were not always available when monetary compensation was inadequate. This remedy did not always have a significant ending effect within the case.

A civil lawsuit under common law could only be initiated by means of a document, a legal document stating the reasons and legal basis for which a person is being sued. The problem arose when the issue was not covered by an injunction. By the 13th century, charter-making ceased with each new case. This means that cases not yet covered by the Royal Charter have been abolished.

This led to great public dissatisfaction, as they often had to put up with inadequate legal remedies, or because briefs were too narrow or rigid to be brought to court. Ordered to take up the case, referred to the King by petition, the Grand Chamber drew up an equitable law. Justice was seen primarily as fairness and was a very powerful law that overcame conflict with common law. The Prime Minister decided on the case that the King paid attention to. He developed many principles that have become the laws of fairness, relying heavily on a sense of fairness and justice. Resolving the conflict between judicial law and common law, achieved in the 1615 case of the Earl of Oxford, was of great importance. In this case, the King ruled that between the conflict between common law and justice, justice should prevail.


The legal guidelines associated with fairness have advanced thru precedent and the purpose is to provide equitable rights and treatments to the parties. The selections of fairness have in large part been primarily based totally on the judge’s discretion and information of the truthful and simple cause. Equity dates returned to the centuries in the past and continue to be as relevant, as is the case with regulation. Law and fairness are critical for justice. Where the rigidities of the regulation threaten justice, fairness prevails, and wherein fairness has no treatment the letter of regulation is followed. Justice, thus, relies upon each and thus, each has to be consulted to be able to supply justice.

 Written By- Akash Chaurasiya

Lovely Professional University

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