December 26, 2023

The fundamental rights are regarded as existing at the divine level, they cannot be changed by anyone. The Indian Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, sex, or place of birth under Article 15 of the constitution of India.

This provision guarantees equality before the law and forbids discrimination of any kind in hotel rooms, retail establishments, public dining establishments, and public entertainment venues. Additionally, it forbids discrimination of any kind in hiring practices or when utilizing government resources.

Article 15 of fundamental rights

  • Article 15 of the Indian Constitution forbids discrimination against any person on the basis of birthplace, sex, caste, religion, or ethnicity. The article authorizes the State to create particular arrangements for women and children, as well as for the advancement of socially and educationally disadvantaged classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes. It also declares that the State will not discriminate against any citizen on these grounds.
  • Discrimination is forbidden by the article when it comes to getting into public spaces like stores, dining establishments, lodging facilities, and entertainment venues. Discrimination is also forbidden in areas pertaining to employment, schooling, and the use of public facilities including tanks, wells, and bathing ghats.

article 15 in the constitution of India: Scope

  • Discrimination is forbidden by Article 15 from both the State and private entities. It encompasses work, education, and public space access.
  • According to Article 15(1) of COI, a state is not allowed to discriminate against its inhabitants on the basis of caste, sex, race, religion, or place of birth.
  • According to Article 15(2) of COI, neither the state nor its citizens may discriminate against anyone based on their race, religion, sex, place of birth, or caste. This includes granting everyone the same access to public restrooms, wells, water tanks, and other facilities as well as parks, restaurants, and retail establishments.
  • According to Article 15(3) of COI, the state may enact laws for the welfare of women and children in certain situations where they are in need of particular advantages. This does not imply that discrimination is taking place; rather, it simply implies that these women and children are receiving special treatment because they are in need of it.
  • Following the first amendment to the Indian constitution in 1951, Article 15(4) of COI was introduced. It states that any reserve made by the state for the socially and educationally disadvantaged segments of the population would not be viewed as a breach of Article 15 of the Constitution.
  • Furthermore, in the case of T.M. Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka, it was decided that the state had the discretionary power to impose restrictions with regard to the admission of the backward classes. Article 15(5) of COI states that nothing in this clause shall hinder the state from making any special provision with regard to the admissions of scheduled castes as well as scheduled tribes into private institutions.

Article 15 of Indian constitution: Case Rulings

The important clause that forbids discrimination on any basis, Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, has been shaped by these seminal judgments in terms of both interpretation and application. The cases have also aided in establishing the parameters of the provision, guaranteeing that reservations are granted exclusively to individuals who are educationally and socially disadvantaged.

  • In the case of Nainsukhdas v State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the state election commission’s establishment of separate electoral boards for various religions was illegal. The state is prohibited from discriminating against its citizens under Article 15 (1).
  • In the Paramjit Singh v State of Punjab case, the court ruled that both men and women who belonged to Scheduled Castes might run for election to fill the Sarpanch position provided the position was set aside for them in a hamlet. Being a member of a Scheduled Caste and serving as the Panch of the constituency were the eligibility requirements. As a result, respondent number 5’s election as Sarpanch was recognized as legitimate.
  • In the case of A. Periakaruppan v State of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court ruled that reservations were required to improve the situation of socially and educationally backward classes, and that it was unlawful to categorize these classes based on caste.
  • In the Maratha Reservation case, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2018 law, which exceeded the 50% reservation cap imposed by the court in the Indra Sawhney case, rendered the law granting reservations for Marathas invalid.
  • In the case of Janhit Abhiyan v Union of India, on January 16, 2023, the 103rd Constitutional Amendment that provides for the EWS reservation was upheld by the Supreme Court by a 3:2 majority. The Court expanded the definition of net of reservation advantages to include only economic backwardness in doing so.

The reservation has been the focus of the most important disagreements because of Article 15. The weaker segments of society have access to a variety of reservation options that are upsetting to the majority of people. Reservations are meant to help the nation’s underprivileged populations, not to split people into general and reserved groups.

In the early years before British colonialism, inequality and untouchability were widespread practices that persisted even during the colonial era and beyond. However, there has been some decrease in inequality as a result of the establishment of regulations meant to protect the underprivileged class. Although it cannot be said that discrimination has completely disappeared, it has decreased. The Indian Constitution’s preamble makes reference to equality. The phrase is to be used extensively across the Indian subcontinent, according to Article 15.

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