“Equality before the law, all it means is that the machinery of the law should make no distinctions which are not already made by the law to be applied. It is the principle of legality or legitimacy which is by nature inherent in every legal order, regardless of whether this order is just or unjust.”
~Hems Kelson, Pure Theory of Law
Equality means a state of being ensured fair, equal opportunity, especially in terms of status, rights, and opportunities provided to individuals to make the most of their lives and brilliance. The principle of Equality runs like a golden thread throughout the Constitution and its importance is glared by the standing it finds in Part III of the Constitution of India. It is derived from the Preamble of the Indian constitution which guarantees equality of status and opportunity. The Right to Equality has been discussed in the Indian Constitution over Article 14 to Article 18.
Specifically, Article 14 of the Constitution of India states that “The State shall not deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection the laws within the territory of India”. The first and foremost right that is guaranteed to all persons is the right to equality. This is also justified by the fact that whenever any Fundamental right is violated, Article 14 also gets violated.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: ASSESS TO EQUALITY
People in democratic countries like India enjoy certain rights inherited to them by the law, that are protected by the proper Judicial administration of the country concerned. India respects the rights of the people, which are listed as Fundamental Rights in our Indian Constitution. The rights which are ensured within the constitution that are justiciable and those set of rights which are very basic and may have a wide scope of interpretation suiting the then needs of the people or which benefits of the public are known as the fundamental Rights. They’re inviolately in nature, although the state goes against it, they need to face repercussions by the Courts as being justiciable. These rights make sure the overall physical, mental, and moral development of a citizen. They include basic freedoms and conditions which alone can make life worth living and measure every citizen on an identical platform.
Fundamental Rights are considered an integral part of the Indian Constitution listed under Part III from Articles 14 to 32. The rights guaranteed as to Equality, to Freedom, against Exploitation, to property, and constitution remedy. It carries the primary theme of the dignity of the individual, and also of the unity and integrity of the nation. Fundamental rights generate a feeling of security among the minorities in the country regarding their obligations. They establish the framework of democratic legitimacy for the rule of the majority. No democracy can function in the absence of basic rights such as Freedom of speech and expression, equal treatment of individuals regardless of their Caste, Creed, Gender, and background. It provides the standard of conduct, citizenship, justice, and fair play. This ensures that there is equal subjection of all the citizens to the ordinary law.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EQUALITY
- NATURAL EQUALITY
Natural equality is that which is found among all men solely by the communication of their nature. Natural or moral equality is therefore based on the constitution of human nature common to all men, who are born, grow, live, and die in the same way.
- SOCIAL EQUALITY
It stands for equal rights and opportunities for development for all classes of people without any discrimination. A modern central theme of social equality is to end gender inequality, to ensure equal status and opportunities to the women, and to ensure equal rights of male and female children to live and develop.
- CIVIL EQUALITY
It stands for the grant of equal rights and freedoms to all people and social groups. Civil liberty consists of the enjoyment of similar civil liberties and civil rights by all citizens. Civil laws should treat all individuals equally. There should not be any discrimination of superior and inferior, the rich and the poor, caste and creed, and groups and classes.
- POLITICAL EQUALITY
It stands for equal opportunities for the participation of all in the political process. This involves the concept of equal political rights for all citizens with some uniform qualifications for everyone.
- LEGAL EQUALITY
The concept of legal equality is a core concept found in classical liberalism. Classical liberalism is a philosophy that was developed in the 19th century. It operated on the belief in limited government and individual liberty.
CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATES REGARDING THE RIGHT TO EQUALITY
Earlier, former Article 9 is now Article 14 and 15 of the Indian constitution. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution of 1950 was not included in the draft constitution of 1948 as a stand-alone article. It was first mentioned in Draft article 15:
“Protection of life and liberty and equality before the law- No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except according to procedure established by law, nor shall any person be denied equality before the law of the equal protection of law within the territory of India”
Article 9 further stated that:
In particular, no citizen shall, on the grounds only for religion, race, caste, sex, or any of them, be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition concerning assess to shops, public restaurants, hotels, and places of public entertainment.
Mr. C. Subramaniam proposed that the State has no power to discriminate in the above-mentioned factors for the reason:
He proposed to remove the words “in particular” and also suggested using a separate clause i.e., 9(1a). It must be read as, “No citizen shall, on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them be subjected to any disability”.
Thereafter Mr. Syeed Abdur Rouf suggested inserting the words “place of birth” instead of the word “Sex”. This was followed by Prof. K.T. Shah suggesting through an amendment, to use the word “religion” in place of the word “creed”. Mr. H.V. Kamath proposed to substitute the words “State Funds” for the “revenue of the state”, for which Dr. B.R. Ambedkar agreed to it.
Indian reservations system has been a major success in improving the position of the Backward Classes and the Past decades have shown remarkable development in the position of Backward and oppressed classes in India. Our current reservation is caste-based and it has been seen that the upper segment of each class who are forward than the other is developing and are using maximum been benefits of reservation and also now they have attained both the economic equality as well as social equality because they are economically sound, now while the lower segment of the same cast are still unaware of their rights of reservation and they are still backward.
We need some new methods other than the caste-based reservations to equate this inequality which is there in the same caste, the reservation policy should be based on the economic conditions so that every individual of the country who is backward socially and economically forward but still socially backward.
- CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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