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Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) | Right to Equality (Article 14-18)

Equality Before Law (Article 14-18)- Relevance for UPSC Blog

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) | Right to Equality (Article 14-18)_40.1


Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Background

  • About: The Fundamentals rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India are fundamental as they have been incorporated into the Fundamental Law of the Land.
    • Rights literally mean those freedoms which are essential for personal good as well as the good of the community.
    • Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc.
  • Key Mandate of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights are provided in the Indian constitution with an aim to promote the ideals of political democracy in India.
  • Source of Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights (FRs) of Indian Constitution derive their origin from the US Constitution (United States Bill of Rights).



Right to Equality (Article 14-18)- Key Provisions

  • Significance: Right to equality is very important in a society like ours. The purpose of this right is to establish the rule of law where all the citizens should be treated equal before the law.
  • Key Objective: Right to Equality has five provisions (Articles 14-18) with an aim-
    • To provide for equality before law or for the protection of law to all the persons in India and
    • Also, to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • Five Fundamental Rights under Right to Equality (Article 14-18):
    • Equality before Law (Article 14): The Constitution guarantees that all citizens will be equal before law. It means that everyone will be equally protected by the laws of the country.
      • No person is above law. It means that if two persons commit the same crime, both of them will get the same punishment without any discrimination.
    • No Discrimination on the basis of Religion, Race, Caste, Sex or Place of Birth (Article 15): The State cannot discriminate against a citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. This is necessary to bring about social equality.
      • Every citizen of India has equal access to shops, restaurants, places of public entertainment or in the use of wells, tanks or roads without any discrimination.
      • Exceptions: However, the State can make special provisions or concessions for women and children.
    • Equality of Opportunity to all Citizens in matter of Public Employment (Article 16): The State cannot discriminate against anyone in the matter of public employment.
      • All citizens can apply and become employees of the State. Merits and qualifications will be the basis of employment.
      • Exceptions: There is a special provision for the reservation of posts for citizens belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
    • Abolition of Untouchability (Article 17): Practising untouchability in any form has been made a punishable offence under the law.
      • This provision is an effort to uplift the social status of millions of Indians who had been looked down upon and kept at a distance because of either their caste or the nature of their profession.
    • Abolition of Titles (Article 18): All the British titles like Sir (Knighthood) or Rai Bahadur which were given to the British loyalists during the British rule, have been abolished because they created distinctions of artificial nature.
      • Exceptions: However, the President of India can confer civil and military awards to those who have rendered meritorious service to the nation in different fields.


Fundamental Rights: List of Fundamental Rights, Definition of State (Article 12) and Judicial Review (Article 13)

Fundamental Duties (Article 51A) | Part IVA | Indian Constitution

List of Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35)- Part III of Indian Constitution: Source, Mandate and Key Features

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