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Right to Equality Under the Indian Constitution
Right to Equality under the Indian Constitution: Indian constitution provides the right to equality to its fellow citizens under article 14 of it. This right is guaranteed and protected by the supreme court of India. For the students of polity, this topic is extremely important as per the context of government examination.
If you are also here to gaining all the information about Right to Equality under the Indian constitution in detail, then please be with us till the end of this article.
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What Is Right to Equality? – What Is Article 14 Under Indian Constitution?
Right to equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India under Article 14. It guarantees that all individuals are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law without any discrimination. This means that every citizen of India, regardless of their caste, religion, gender, race, or place of birth, has the right to be treated equally under the law.
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution states 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." It ensures that every person is equal before the law and that there should not be any discrimination against any individual or group of individuals on any grounds.
Article 14 also states that the law should be applied equally to all persons who are in similar circumstances, and that there should be no discrimination between one person and another. It forms the basis of the entire Indian legal system and is often cited in cases where there are allegations of discrimination or unequal treatment.
Key Provisions of Right to Equality
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution has the following key provisions:
Equality Before the Law: It guarantees that every individual is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection of the law without any discrimination.
Non-discrimination: It prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
The Rule of Law: It upholds the principle of the rule of law, which means that everyone, including the government, is subject to the law.
Fair and Just Treatment: It ensures that everyone is entitled to a fair and just treatment by the law.
Access to Justice: It guarantees that every person has the right to access the courts of law and seek remedies for any violations of their rights.
No Arbitrary Actions: It prohibits arbitrary actions by the state and ensures that any actions taken by the state are based on reasonable and justifiable grounds.
Judicial Review: It allows for judicial review of any laws or actions that violate the right to equality and ensures that they are struck down as unconstitutional.
Significance of Right to Equality
The Right to Equality is a crucial and fundamental right enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It holds significant importance because:
It Promotes Social Harmony: The Right to Equality ensures that there is no discrimination or inequality on the basis of caste, gender, religion, or any other grounds. This promotes social harmony and helps to create a more inclusive and egalitarian society.
It Upholds the Rule of Law: The Right to Equality ensures that everyone, including the government, is subject to the law. This helps to uphold the principle of the rule of law, which is essential for a functioning democracy.
It Provides Equal Opportunities: The Right to Equality ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in life, irrespective of their background. This promotes meritocracy and helps to create a more just and fair society.
It Protects Against Discrimination: The Right to Equality provides protection against discrimination and ensures that everyone is treated equally before the law. This helps to prevent social exclusion and marginalization of vulnerable sections of society.
It Promotes Human Dignity: The Right to Equality recognizes the inherent dignity of every individual and ensures that they are not discriminated against or treated unfairly. This helps to promote a culture of respect and dignity for all.
Q1. What is meant by the term "equality before the law"?
Ans: "Equality before the law" means that every individual is equal before the law and no one is above the law. It ensures that everyone is subject to the same laws and there is no discrimination based on status, wealth, or power.
Q2. What is the difference between equality before the law and equal protection of the law?
Ans: "Equality before the law" means that everyone is subject to the same laws, while "equal protection of the law" means that every individual is entitled to the same protection of the law. The former is a procedural guarantee, while the latter is a substantive guarantee.
Q3. What is the role of the judiciary in upholding the Right to Equality?
Ans: The judiciary plays a crucial role in upholding the Right to Equality by interpreting the law, striking down unconstitutional laws, and ensuring that the state acts in accordance with the Constitution.
Q4. Can the Right to Equality be suspended during a state of emergency?
Ans: Yes, the Right to Equality can be suspended during a state of emergency declared under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution.
Q5. How has the Right to Equality been interpreted and applied by the courts in India?
Ans: The Right to Equality has been interpreted and applied by the courts in various cases, such as the Indra Sawhney case, which dealt with affirmative action or reservations. The courts have also interpreted the Right to Equality to include the right to live with dignity, the right to privacy, and the right to be free from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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