Article 14 to 18 of the constitution guarantee the right to equality to
every citizen of Indian. Article 14 embodies the general principles of equality
before law and prohibits unreasonable discrimination between persons article 14
embodies the idea of equality expressed in the preamble the succeeding Article
15, 16, 17 and 18 lay down specific application of the general rules laid down
in Article 14 Article 15 relates to prohibition of discrimination on grounds of
religion, race, sex or place of birth.
Article 14: Equality Before Law
Article 14 declares that ' the state shall not deny to any person equality
before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of
India. Thus Article 14 uses two Exceptions " Equality before the law " and "
Equal Protection of the law ". The phrase " Equality before the law " finds a
place in almost all written constitution that guarantees fundamental rights,
both these expression have, however been used in the universal declaration of
Human Rights, The first expression ' Equality before law ' is of English origin
and the second expression has been taken from the American Constitution.
Equality before law
The Concept of equality does not mean absolute equality among human
beings which is physically not possible to archive it is a concept implying
absence of any special privilege by reason of birth creed or the like in further
of any individual, and also the equal subject of all individuals and classes to
the ordinary law of the land.
Defination : According to Dr. Jennings " Equality before the 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 citizens of full
age and understanding without distinctions of race, religion, wealth, Social
status or political influence.
Rule of law
The guaramtee of equality before the law is an aspect of what dicey
calls the rule of law in England, Dicey wrote " every official from the prime
minister down to constable or a collector of taxes in under the same
responsibility for every act done without legal justification as any other
Decey gave Three meanings of the Rule of law
- Absence of arbitrary power or supremacy of the law:
It means the absolute
supremacy of law as opposed to the arbitrary power of the government. In other
words : a man May be punished for a breach of law, but he can be punished for
- Equality before the law:
It means Subjection of all classes to the ordinary
law of the land administered by ordinary law courts, This means that no one is
above law with the sole exception of the monarch who can do no wrong everyone in
- The constitution is the result of the ordinary law of the land:
that the sources of the right of individuals is not the written constitution but
the rules as defined and enforced the courts
Article 14 : Equality protection of the law
The guarantee of equal protection of laws is similar to on embodied in the
14th amendment to the American constitution : Means that subjection to equal
law, applying to all in the same circumstances. It only means that all persons
similarly circumastance shall be treated alike, both the privileges conferred
and liabilities imposed by the laws.
Equal law should be applied to all the same situation, and there
should be no discrimination between one person and another.
The words ' any person ' in Article 14 of the constitution denotes that
the guarantee of the equal protection of laws is available to any person which
includes any company or association or body of individuals, The protection
Article 14 extents to both citizen and non : citizen and to natural persons as
well as legal persons.
Exceptions to the Rule of law : Equality is, however, not an absolute
rule and there are number of exception.
- Equality before the law:
Powers of the private citizens are the same as the powers of the public
- The rule of law does not prevent certain classes of persons
- Member of armed forces are controlled by military laws, similarly
- Medical practitioners are subjects to the regulations framed by the
medical council of India.
- Article 361 of the Indian constitution affords an immunity to the
president of india and the state Governors : Becouse Art. 361 Provides that the
president or the Governor of state shall not be answerable to any court for the
exercise and performance.
- Today ministers and other executive bodies are given every wide
discretionary power by statute
- Certain Members of society are governed by special rules in their
professionals, i.e Lawyers, doctors, nurses, army etc.
Exclusion of Article 14
The scope of right to equality under Article 14 has been considerably
restricted by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. The New Article 31:C added by the
Amendment Act provides that laws made by the state for implementing the
directive principles contained in clause b or c of Article 39 cannot be
challenged on the ground that they are violaive of Article 14.
Case law: Sanjeev coke mfg co. vs Bharat cooking coal ltd.
- Article 359 (1) provides that where a proclamation of emergency is in
operation the president may by order, declare that the right to move court
for the enforcement of such rights conformed by part ( except article 20 and
21 ) shall remain suspended
- Article lays down that the president and the governors are exempted from
any from any criminal proceedings during tenure of their office.
- Under international law, foreign sovereign and ambassadors enjoy full
immunity from any judicial process.
Article 14 to18 is the fundamental right which is says about the equality of
status, community and gender. This article is a give wings to all citizens to
make anything in any place, that's why Article 14 is a important part in the
constitution and it is also a first part of fundamental rights.
law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal
protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of
discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. This
article save, The Human Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate on a wide
range of grounds including 'sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority,
property, birth or other status'.
Example case: R (L and others) v Manchester City Council and any other case
Manchester City Council paid decrease allowances to foster carers who had
been own circle of relatives members, in comparison to carers who taken care
of kids who had been unrelated to them. Two households with foster kids from
their very own households alleged that the fees had been so insufficient as to
be in struggle with the kids's welfare.
They additionally argued that the fees had been discriminatory; the council's
failure to base calculations at the households' economic desires confirmed that
they'd now no longer taken into consideration the ability chance to
Article eight rights (proper to recognize for personal and own circle of
The courtroom docket held that Article eight obliged the neighborhood authority
to take 'all suitable superb steps' to permit kids to stay with
their households, except their welfare changed into at chance. The price of
foster allowance fell inside those superb obligations and must now no
longer be accomplished in a discriminatory manner. There were a
disproportionate distinction in remedy on grounds of 'own circle of
relatives status', which the council had did not justify. This supposed that
the coverage fell foul of Article eight and Article 14..(2)