ARTICLE 14 – RIGHT TO EQUALITY
Right to equality is an essential part of our constitution, it is mentioned from article 14 to article 18.
Equality might have different meanings, but according to Google dictionary, equality means the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities. The word equality has been mentioned in the Indian constitution.
Article 14, means that every person who is in the territory of India has equality which means that no person can be discriminated against based on caste, gender, color, religion. India is a country that doesn't follow any specific religion because of which this section holds more important. The article also mentions equality before the law, this means that everyone is treated equally before the court, and justice is given equally by the court. The first phase talks about protection by the law and the second phase talks about equal justice.
There is some exception to this rule known as the case of Indra Swahney, which talks about the right to equality is also recognized as the basic feature of the Indian constitution. Article 14 applies to all the person and is not limited to the citizen, whereas the article only mentions the citizen. This case was related to the corporation, which is a juristic person. In this, it was held that a juristic person is entitled to the benefit of this article.
Another exception is the Underlying Principle, that equality is not the uniformity of treatment to all in all respects. It means that people in similar circumstances should be treated alike and shall have the same privileges and liabilities imposed by the laws.
Case; Srinivas v. State of T.N, it was held that no one should be given the privilege based on the class and name shall be above state law. The state has to impose the obligation upon the state to bring justice.
Case; D.SNakara v. Union of India, in this case, rule 34 of central services were discussed as unconstitutional on the ground that the classification made by it between pensioners retiring before a certain date and retiring after that date was not dependent upon any rational principle it was arbitrary and the infringement of article 4 of Indian constitution law.
Case; EP Royappa v. state of Tamil Nadu and another, it was held that Article 14 is a very important pillar of the constitution and hence cannot be bound by a narrow and inflexible interpretation. Article 14 should thus be given the widest interpretation possible, which also includes reasonableness and arbitrariness of certain provisions of the legislature.
Case; State of West Bengal v. Anwar Ali Sarkar, it was held that the term equal protection of the law is a natural consequence of the term equality before the law and thus it is very difficult to imagine a situation in which there has been a violation of equal protection of the law is no violation of equality before the law. It was seen that these two terms were different terms