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An Overview Of Right To Equality Under Article 14 Of Indian Constitution

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, also known as the 'Right to Equality', is understood by most people here, even after 73 years of independence. our country is not able to gain actual independence. Evils like discrimination are still prevailing in our country. Even the one who created our Constitution suffered from this anathema. Even now there are some places where people are not treated equally and they are discriminated on different basis like religion, race, sex, caste, place of origin, etc.
  • Our Constitution-makers were aware of the situation in India and added Article 14 to the Indian Constitution as a fundamental right for both citizens and non-citizens.
  • The main objective of this article is to provide clarity on Article 14 when we observe a husband treating his wife badly, The display of a lower caste man as inferior to upper caste people is a form of discrimination. Here we can understand how important the role of the state is to maintain the equality of citizens.
Article 14 states that 'the State shall not prevent any person from being equal before the law or being protected by the laws within the territory of India.

Article 14 ensures that our citizens receive the same treatment as liberalism's basic concept of treating all citizens equally. The equality they receive in society directly correlates with their liberty.

Understanding the Legal Framework of Article 14

A preamble and 448 articles divided into 25 parts and 12 schedules form the Constitution of India, which became effective on 26th January 1950. The fundamental rights of Indian citizens are addressed in Article 14 as the first article of Part III of the Constitution. The protection of Indian citizens' rights and freedoms is crucial in this article, which provides a legal basis for equal treatment under the law. The State must ensure that equality before the law and equal protection of laws within the territory are not denied, as mandated by this provision. Citizens, foreigners, and legal entities such as companies are all covered by this right.

Equality before Law

Dr. Jennings explains that the concept of equality before law is the belief that law should be enforced and administered equally among those who are equal. All subjects who are of legal age and maturity should have equal rights to both sue and be sued for the same action without any distinction on the grounds of race, religion, caste, social status, wealth, influence, etc. The phrase 'equality of law' in Article 14 ensures similar but not identical treatment. It's basically saying that any subject doesn't have any special privileges due to their birth, class, or any other reason. Furthermore, it implies that all individuals will be subject to the same legal framework.

Equal Protection of Laws:

  • The American Constitution is the source of the concept of 'Equal Protection of Laws'.
  • Equality of treatment is achieved in equal circumstances, regardless of the privileges conferred or liabilities imposed by laws.
  • All persons who are similarly situated are subject to the same laws.

The landmark judgment declared that sexual harassment of women at work is in violation of their fundamental rights stipulated by Article 14, 19 and 21. The act, which prohibits sexual harassment of women in the workplace and addresses its prevention, prosecution, and redressal mechanisms, was passed in 2013.

1. Shayara Bano v. UOI (2017)

The practice of instantaneous triple talaq was declared unconstitutional by a 5-judge SC bench due to its violation of Muslim women's rights.

By relying on case law, this article examines the provisions of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. It's important to distinguish between the right to equality and the concept of equality classification idea. Arbitrariness is the subject of Article 14, as any action that is arbitrary must imply the opposite of equality. Article 14 is not the goal or conclusion of the courts' classification doctrine.

It is not a paraphrase of the article. A legal method is employed to determine whether a legislative or administrative action is biased, which is equivalent to denying equality. This article's goal is to uncover what the general principle of 'right to equality' encompasses. It is self-evident that the term 'Right to Equality' is one of our basic rights and it does not require any explanation.

No equality in illegality

The wrongdoer is not entitled to equality before the law. A person who engages in illegal activities cannot claim the right to equality before the law in judicial system. The case of Baliram Prasad Singh v. State Of Bihar The Patna High Court clearly explains that illegal acts cannot be treated equally because the petitioner was responsible for their actions, which resulted in their illness.

Conclusion And Suggestions
In conclusion, it is vital to analyses the most logical and desirable route for the courts to take in the future. Examining the various aspects of equality across all doctrines and using them to find practical applications would be the most ideal route application and move forward with a complementary approach, keeping in mind the various doctrines, old and new, and after analysing the positives as well as the criticisms of all the doctrines.

The desired position could be obtained using the nexus test, positivist and activist methods, and non-arbitrary principles. The Indian courts still apply all the concepts and norms in harmony, even if they are not based on non-arbitrariness principles. To maintain the dynamic spirit of equality and satisfy the need for reasonableness, the judiciary aims to examine all doctrines. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Written By: Bavneet Kour

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