December 30, 2023

Everyone in this room is generally capable of comprehending Article 14 in the constitution of India, which is the “Right to Equality.” Our nation still cannot achieve true freedom, even after 73 years of independence. Discrimination and other evils are still common in our land. This taboo even affected the person who drafted our Constitution. People are still not treated equally in some locations today, and they face discrimination based on a variety of factors, including caste, religion, race, sex, and place of origin.

Our country’s founding fathers included Article 14 as a fundamental right to both citizens and non-citizens, based on their understanding of the Indian situation.

Article 14 of Indian Constitution: About

The Indian Constitution’s Article 14 declares that no one may be denied equality before the law or equal protection under the law on Indian territory despite of prejudice based on sex, religion, caste, race, or place of birth.

Equality before the Law

  • This idea guarantees that everyone is treated equally in the eyes of the law, regardless of social or economic standing. Nobody may be denied rights or treated unfairly by the government or any of its agents.
  • It guarantees that all citizens, regardless of background, have equal access to justice and legal remedies and prohibits discrimination.

Equal Protection of Laws

  • This idea requires the state to treat every person fairly and impartially when enforcing the law. It indicates that there should be no unfair or arbitrary legal disparities, and that people in similar situations should be treated equally.
  • Equal protection and the reasonable classification concept are related. As long as the categorization is reasonable, based on understandable differences, and has a rational connection to the goal being pursued, it permits the state to divide people into various categories for particular objectives.

Scope of Article 14 of the constitution

  • The importance of Article 14 is found in its capacity to shield people’s liberties and rights from the State’s capricious and discriminating actions.
  • It offers a framework for legally contesting any State action that violates the rights to equal protection under the law and equality before the law.
  • This article gives equal rights to all citizens and guards against the State’s ability to discriminate against any individual or group.
  • Article 14 covers all areas of State action, including executive, legislative, and administrative action.
  • Its scope is extensive. Discrimination against individuals on the basis of religion, ethnicity, caste, gender, place of birth, or any other personal trait is forbidden by law in the State.
  • Article 14’s provisions are applicable to all State activities, regardless of whether the State legislatures or the Parliament enacts them.
  • The article also covers the State’s executive and administrative acts, including the provision of government services and the granting of licenses, permits, or approvals.

Article 14 of Indian Constitution: Important Case Rulings

  • In the case of Harsh Mander v UOI, the ruling changed the situation with begging. Earlier, certain forms of begging were illegal pursuant to the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959. However, the ruling eliminated about twenty-five provisions of the same Act on the grounds of the right to equality under Article 14.

In this case, the court ruled that stigmatizing and eventually criminalizing begging as a behavior is a result of people’s mindsets rather than any kind of illness. It was also said that making things like begging illegal would only be seen to be an assault on the impoverished people’s fundamental rights. It is possible that this will also negatively affect more basic needs, such as food and shelter.

  • In the case of National Legal Service Authority v UOI, the National Legal Services Authority of India brought the lawsuit in an effort to give identity to people who “fall out” of the male/female or, more accurately, third sex categories.

Although transgender people faced discrimination, the court ruled that Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees everyone the right to equality, was intended to do so in a gender-neutral manner.

Article 14: Exceptions

  • The Indian Constitution’s Article 14 allows classification; however, it forbids person equality and class legislation until the law is guaranteed. Article 14 does not, however, imply that all citizens would be subject to the same laws.
  • Article 14 of the constitution, however, forbids discrimination against anyone on the basis of their caste, class, or sex. The president’s and governors’ protection:
  • According to the constitution, the President of the United States and the governors of each state are exempt from court oversight when carrying out their official duties and responsibilities.
  • Nonetheless, any court or body that the House of Parliament appoints could review the President’s actions.
  • The Indian Constitution’s article 14 is not applicable in this case.

One of the most important parts of the Indian Constitution is Article 14, which has been invoked extensively by the courts to uphold the liberties and rights of Indian citizens. The courts have construed and implemented the requirements of Article 14 in order to safeguard the rights of transgender individuals, minority groups, and equality as well as a fair trial. The fundamental tenets of equality and nondiscrimination in Indian society would be strengthened by the courts’ ongoing implementation and interpretation of Article 14.

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