India is a secular democratic and republic nation that has created all the
necessary provisions to safeguard the interest of the countries population.
Fundamental rights are those rights which are essential for
intellectual, moral and spiritual development of citizens of India.
As these rights are fundamental or essential for existence and all round development of individuals. Hence it is called as fundamental rights. They are contained in part III of the constitution of India.
Fundamental rights apply to all citizens irrespective of race, birth place, religion, caste or gender. IPC and other laws prescribe punishment for the violation of these rights subject to
discretion of the judiciary.
Even though the constitution of India forbids the citizen of the
country from any kind of discrimination people belonging to a particular caste or religion are still discriminated and are treated as less by a society. Discrimination occurs when you are distinguished or treated in a less favourable manner than another person under similar circumstances.
The reason behind the introduction of these provision was that in pre
-independence India especially in the caste system, it was often seen and deemed inferior to other section this powers have been given to the state so that it can create such provision which can help these sections rise up and become equal to other section of the society.
These provisions are meant for upliftment of thoese section in the society who are downtrodden poor. Citizens of India come across the case of violation fundamental rights he or
she can approach the supreme court of India for ultimate justice. Fundamental rights mentioned in the Indian constitution have their origin from different sources like Englands Bill of Rights, the US
bill of rights and France's declaration of Rights of man.
Article15 of the Indian Constitution
15; prohibits discrimination by the state against any citizen on grounds 'only' of caste, religion, sex, race, and place of birth. Fundamental rights are provided to
of the country without any discrimination.
That means state cannot make any discrimination against its own
citizens on these grounds. State has to treat every body equal before law. Article15 also state that no discrimination on the use of wells, tanks,
bathing hats, Roads and place of public resort maintained by state funds when these are especially provided and maintained from the state fund. In short they are dedicated to the use of the public in general.
Article15 restricts discrimination on the ground of:
- Religion: It means no person should be discriminated on the basis
of religion from accessing any public place, or policy by the state or any
- Race: Ethinic origin should not form a basis of discrimination. For Eg: citizen of Afgan origin should not be discriminated from
those of an Indian origin.
- Caste: Discrimination on the basis caste is also prohibited to
prevent atrocities on the lowercaste by the uppercaste.
- Sex: Gender of an individual shall not be a valid ground for
discrimination in any matter. Ex: Discriminating transgender, female etc
- Place of birth: A place where an individual is born should not
become a reason for discriminating other members of the society.
So discrimination is contrary to the principles of equality.
Article15 has 3exception to the general rule of nondiscrimination:
- State is permitted to make special provisions for women and children.
This is one important exception to article 15. State can make or create
special provision for the welfare of the women and children.
Ex: Reservation for seat for women in local bodies as well as and certain kind of provision for free education for children. This can be done by the state.
- State is permitted to make special provisions for the advancement of
educationally backward classes of citizens, SC and ST.
Ex: Reservation of seats or fee concession in public educational institution can be granted for people belonging to OBC, SC, ST.
- State can make provisions for advancement of socially and educationally
backward citizens, SC, STs.
Ex: State can make special provision when it comes to special provision taking admission to educational institution. This provision of reservation is applicable to government schools or government
institution as well as private educational institution. So this is in short
Article14 which talks about equality before law and equal protection of laws. Article15 talks about non discrimination on certain grounds mentioned above. In order to achieve certain kinds of equality with in the society and the exceptions mentioned in article15 which the state has the power to amend or bring special provision in a way to up lift women and child especially belonging to OBC, SC, and ST. So Article15 act as an extension of Article14 of the constitution Article14 says every citizens shall be treated equally before the law and the state cannot deny equality or equal protection to individuals.
From this it is clear constitution of India guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens of the country without any discrimination. These fundamental rights make an individual to live with dignity and promote the idea of democracyArticle14 and Article15 bring equality and eradicate discrimination.
Article15 is the weapon that breaks the wall of discrimination between the uppercaste and lowercaste. In
Indra sawhney V union of India, it is stated as Article15 derives the entire power from Article14.
Article15 truly a guardian of downtrodden and shield against discrimination among the huge diversity of Sexism, racism and caste system. India can stand tall and proud to have a constitution so beautifully drafted for welfare of the people as it is an allround development
of individuals. Law does not aims to bring revolution it sees the welfare of
the citizens, the nations are more concerned about their
citizens then the nation also prosper through these citizens.
Written By: Kairali V.S Asst. Prof. SRM School of Law.