No Discrimination on Grounds of Religion, Race, Caste,etc
Article 15 of Indian constitution– Article 15 provides for a particular application of the general principle embodied in Article 14. Article 15 occurs in the Constitution of India under Part III. The Article 15 of Indian constitution is mentioned as the Fundamental Right in India. The guarantee under article 15 is available to citizens only and not to every person whether ‘citizen or non-citizen’ as under Article 14. Here we look in detail what Article 15 of the Indian constitution says.
Article 15 (1)-
The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them. The word discrimination means to make an adverse distinction or to distinguish unfavorable from others. If the law makes discrimination on any of the above grounds it can be declared invalid. in the case Nainsukhdas vs. State of U.P. (AIR 1953 SC 384):- in this case law which provided for elections on the basis of separate electorates for members of different religious communities was held to be unconstitutional.
Article 15(2) –
Article 15 (2):- No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—
(a) Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public. A ‘place of public resort’ means places which are frequented by the public like a public park, public road, public bus, ferry, public urinal or railway, a hospital, etc.
Article 15(3) –
Article 15(3) -Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children. in the case Anjali Roy vs. State of West Bengal, AIR 1952 Cal 825- It has been held that Article 15(3) provides for only special provision for the benefits of women and children and does not require that absolutely identical treatment as those enjoyed by males in similar matters must be afforded to them.
Article 15(4) –
Article 15(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of Indian citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. in the case K.S. Jayasree vs. State of Kerala (AIR 1976 SC 2381):-the Supreme Court upheld the government’s direction and held-neither caste by itself nor poverty by itself is determining factor of social backwardness. Though poverty is not the sole test of backwardness yet it is relevant factor in the context of social backwardness. in the case Dr.Neelima vs. Dean of P.G. studies A.P. Agriculture University, Hyderabad, (AIR 1993 SC 229)- The court held that high caste girl marrying scheduled tribes was not entitled to get the benefit of reservation available to the scheduled tribe.
Article 15(5) Nothing in this article or in sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions (college and school), whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30. in the case Pramati Educational and Cultural Trust vs. Union of India (AIR 2014 SC 2114)- the supreme court held clause (5) of article 15 of the constitution is not an exception or a proviso overriding article 15 of the constitution but an enabling provision to make equality of opportunity promised in the preamble in the constitution a reality.