Right to Equality

Right to Equality

INTRODUCTION

Articles 12-35 of Indian Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These human rights are conferred upon the citizens of India for the Constitution tells that these rights are inviolable. Right to Life, Right to Dignity and Right to Education etc. all come under one of the six main fundamental rights.

What are the Fundamental Rights?

Fundamental rights are the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India which are guaranteed to all citizens. They are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions.

Why are they called Fundamental Rights?

These rights are called fundamental rights because of two reasons:

They are enshrined in the Constitution which guarantees them

They are justiciable (enforceable by courts). In case of a violation, a person can approach a court of law.

List of Fundamental Rights

There are six fundamental rights of Indian Constitution along with the constitutional articles related to them are mentioned below:

Right to Equality (Article 14-18)

Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)

Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)

Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)

Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)

Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

Why Right to Property is not a Fundamental Right?

There was one more fundamental right in the Constitution, i.e., the right to property.

However, this right was removed from the list of fundamental rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment.

This was because this right proved to be a hindrance towards attaining the goal of socialism and redistributing wealth (property) equitably among the people.

Introduction to Right to Equality

Right to Equality (Articles 14 – 18)

Right to equality guarantees equal rights for everyone, irrespective of religion, gender, caste, race or place of birth. It ensures equal employment opportunities in the government and insures against discrimination by the State in matters of employment on the basis of caste, religion, etc. This right also includes the abolition of titles as well as untouchability.

Before knowing about the right to equality, aspirants should know the types of equality to get an idea of what it is. It is also mentioned in our Preamble. The types of  equality are:

Natural

Social

Civil

Political

Economic

Legal

The Right to Equality is one of the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. It is very important to understand what this right entails and includes.

Equality before the law (Article 14)

Article 14 treats all people the same in the eyes of the law.

This provision states that all citizens will be treated equally before the law.

The law of the country protects everybody equally.

Under the same circumstances, the law will treat people in the same manner.

Prohibition of discrimination (Article 15)

This article prohibits discrimination in any manner.

No citizen shall, on grounds only of race, religion, caste, place of birth, sex or any of them, be subject to any liability, disability, restriction or condition with respect to:

Access to public places

Use of tanks, wells, Ghats, etc. that are maintained by the State or that are meant for the general public

The article also mentions that special provision can be made for women, children and the backward classes notwithstanding this article.

Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16)

Article 16 provides equal employment opportunities in State service for all citizens.

No citizen shall be discriminated against in matters of public employment or appointment on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex, place of birth, descent or residence.

Exceptions to this can be made for providing special provisions for the backward classes.

Abolition of untouchability (Article 17)

Article 17 prohibits the practice of untouchability.

Untouchability is abolished in all forms.

Any disability arising out of untouchability is made an offence.

Abolition of titles (Article 18)

Article 18 abolishes titles.

The State shall not confer any titles except those which are academic or military titles.

The article also prohibits citizens of India from accepting any titles from a foreign State.

The article abolishes the titles that were awarded by the British such as Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, etc.

Awards like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna and military honours like Ashok Chakra, Param Vir Chakra do not belong to this category.

By – Kartikeya Manoj Saxena

 

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