Equality before law
“The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law.
Meaning of right to equality
This means that every person, who lives within territory of India, has the equal right before the law. the meaning of this all are equal in same line. No discrimination based on religion ,race, caste, sex,and place of birth. its mean that all will be treated as equality among equal .and there will be no discrimination based on lower or higher class.
Article-14 Of Constitution Of India
The state not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within The territory of India. protection prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, Caste, sex, or place of birth. Prof. Dicey, explaining the concept of legal equality as it operated in England, said: “with us every official, from the prime minister down to a constable or a collector of taxes, is under the same responsibility for every act done without any legal justification as any other citizen.”
The phase “ equality to the law “ find a place in all written constitutions that guarantees fundamental rights. “All citizens irrespective of birth, religion, sex, or race are equal before law ; that is to say, there Shall not be any arbitrary discrimination between one citizen or class of citizens and another.” “All citizens shall, as human persons he held equal before law.” “All inhabitants of the republic are assured equality before the laws.”
Pantanjali Sastri, c.j., has expressed that the second expression is corollary of the first and it is difficult to imaging a situation in which the violation of laws will not be the violation of equality before laws thus, in substance the two expression mean one and same thing.
According to Dr. Jennings said that: “Equality before the law means that equality among equals the law should be equal for all. And should be equally administered, that like should treated alike. The right to sue and be sued, to prosecute and 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.”
Equal Protection Of Law
“Equal protection of law” has been given in article 14 of our Indian constitution which has been taken from section 1 of the 14th amendment act of the constitution of the united state.
Meaning of equal protection of law: here, it means that each person within the territory of India will get equal Protection of laws.
In Stephen’s college v. university of Delhiunder The court held that the expression “Equal protection of the laws is now being read as a positive Obligation on the state to ensure equal protection of laws by bringing in necessary social and economic changes so that everyone may enjoy equal protection of the laws and nobody is denied such protection. If the state leaves the existing inequalities untouched laws d by its laws, it fails in its duty of providing equal protection of its laws to all persons. State will provide equal protection to all the people of India who are citizen of India and as well as non citizen of India.
Exceptions To Rule Of Law
In the case of Indra Sawhney the right to equality is also recognized as one of basic features of Indian constitution. Article 14 applies to all person and is not limited to citizens. A corporation, which is a juristic person, is also entailed to the benefit of this article. This concept implied equality for equals and aims at striking down hostile discrimination or oppression of inequality. In the case of Ramesh Prasad v. State of Bihar, AIR 1978 SC 327 It is to be noted that aim of both the concept, ‘ Equality before law’ and ‘ Equal protection of the law’ is the equal Justice.
The Principle of equality is not the uniformity of treatment to all in all respects. it only means that all persons similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed by the laws. Equal law should be applied to all in the same situation, and there should be no discrimination between one person and another.
Permination & Prohibition Of Article 14
Article 14 permits classification but prohibits class legislation the equal protection of law guaranteed by article 14 does not mean that all laws must be general in character. It does not mean that the same laws should apply to all persons. It does not mean that every law must have universal application for, all person are not, by nature, attainment or circumstances in the same position. The varying need of different classes of persons often require separate treatment. From the very nature of society there should be different places and the legislature controls the policy and enacts laws in the best interest of the safety and security of the state.
Test of reasonable classification
Article 14 forbid class legislation, it does not forbid reasonable classification of person, object and transactions by the legislature for the purpose of achieving specific ends. But classification must not be "arbitrary, artificial or evasive". It must always rest upon some real and substantive distinction bearing a just and reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by the legislature.
Classification to be reasonable must fulfil the following two conditions -
1- the classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together from other left out of the group
2- the differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the act.
What is necessary is that there must be a nexus between the basis of classification and the object of the act which makes the classification.
Exceptions to the equality before law - article 361 of the Constitution permits the following exception to this rule
1- The president or the governor of a state shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office.
2- No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted against the president or a governor in any court during his terms of office.
3- No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the president or the governor of a state shall be instituted during his term of office in any court in respect of any act done by him in his personal capacity.
Equality before law