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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Examine the various provisions dealing with 'right to equality' under Indian Constitution.

There are 6 fundamental rights given under the Indian constitution.
The right to equality guaranteed under 5 articles (14-18), is quite comprehensive dealing with 5 different aspects.
1. Right to equality before law OR the Equal protecting laws (article 14): Article 14 of the constitution says "the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law, or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India..."
Exceptions: (i) the president and the governors of states are not answerable to any court.
(ii) No criminal proceedings can take place against the president or the governor of a state in any court during his term of office.

2. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth
Exceptions: (i) women & children, schedule caste and scheduled tribe have been given certain privileges. Women, children and adhivasis are exceptional classes of people, who demand special protection, hence no legislation making special provisions in their favor, shall be unconstitutional.

3. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (article 16): Article 16 has the following 2 aspects.
(i)  There shall be equality of opportunities for all citizens in matters related to employment or appointment to any office under the state.
(ii) No citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or residence can be discriminated for employment.
Exception: The following are the exceptions to article 16:
(i) Residents in a state for public employment. Parliament or constituents has prescribed residents within the state as a qualified to get employment.
(ii)Reservation of some posts for backward classes. There are certain jobs reserved for backward classes, scheduled cast and scheduled tribes.

4. Abolition of Untouchabality (Article 17): Article 17 abolishes untouchablilty; it practices in any form, made offence punished in accordance with the law.

5. Abolition of Titles (article 18): Art. 18 prohibits the state from giving any title at all upon any person.
Exception: (i) Military can give military awards or military titles, such as “Paramvidrchakra”, “Ashok Chakra”
(ii) Government can give civilian awards ot titles such as “Padmashree”, “Padmabushan”, “Padmavubushan” and “Bharat Ratna”