Article 14 of the Indian Constitution - Equality before law:-
Article 14 of the Indian constitution of India provides that the state shall not
deny to any person Equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws
in the Territory of India.
Article 14 uses two expressions "Equality before law
which implies the absence of any special privileges in favour of individuals
and the subject of all classes to the ordinary law and equal protection of the
law which implies "Equal Treatment in Equal Circumstances"
"Equality before law"
means that among equals the law should
be equal and should be equally administered, that like should be treated alike.
The right to sue and be sued , to prosecute and be prosecuted for the same kind
of action should be same for all the citizens of full age and understanding
without distinction of race, religion, wealth ,social status or political
Article 14 permits classification but prohibits class legislation.
Class legislation is that which makes an improper discrimination by conferring
particular privileges upon a class of person arbitrarily selected from a large
number of persons. Article 14 does not forbid reasonable classification of
persons, Objects, transactions by the legislature for the purpose of achieving
specific ends but the classification should be reasonable.
State of West Bengal v. Anwar Ali
In the leading case the supreme court held that section 5(1) of the west Bengal
special court act 1856 ,contravened article 14 anf was voidsince it conferred
arbitrary power on the government to classify offences or cases at its pleasure
.the majority held that the procedure laid down by the act for the trial by the
special courts varied substantially from the procedure laid down on the trial of
offences generally by the criminal procedure code.