Article by Muskan singh at lexcliq
Legal equality which is also known as equality in the eyes of law or equality before law or right to equality is a principle that states every being must be treated equally before the law. This principle also ensures that no person shall endure any kind of discrimination on any grounds or anyone is provided with an advantage of any power of authority or status before the law.
This principle is one of the basic features of the Indian constitution, so it cannot be removed but it may amend by the parliament of India without making any changes in it’s basic structure. The principle is one of the six fundamental rights of the Indian constitution which is defined under Article 14. It prohibits discriminatory acts such as denial of legal protection on any grounds or unfairness in providing equal wages and salaries, equality to stand before the law or equal opportunities, etc.
“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 be held equal before law.”
“All inhabitants of the republic are assured equality before the laws.”
Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides equality in the eyes of law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. It also applies to the citizens of the country as well as the visiters ( foreigners ) from other countries. A person should not be discriminated or deprived of his rights under the law, one’s rights cannot be infringed by the law. A person should be treated equally before the law regardless of his status.
“The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
A person’s right for equality is further segregated into sub categories such as political rights, social rights, legal rights, economical rights and natural ( fundamental ) rights.
The principle of equality before the law has few exceptions as well which is stated under the Indian constitution.
They are as follows –
- Inclusion of special provisions for uplifting and safeguarding rights of women & children and vulnerability classes such as scheduled tribes & scheduled castes, for there betterment is an exception to the above mentioned principle as it discriminates the citizens of the country.
- The reservation of various seats in educational institutions and goverment offices for job purposes and studies also discriminates the citizens of the country by not providing equal opportunities and giving privileges.
- Article 105 & Article 194 – these Articles states that the Members of the Parliament and the State Legislatures are not held liable for anything which they say within the House. Which gives them a special authority and hence violates the principle.
- Article 361 – It states that the President and the Governors are not liable to any court for any act which is done by them in exercising their power and duties of the office.
- Article 359 – It suspends the fundamental right ( Article 14 ) in times of emergency.