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Article 15 of Constitution of India

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Article 15 of Constitution of India deals with Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

From the Constitution

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

(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.

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

[(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 citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.]

[(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, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30.]

Notes

  • Clause (1) specifies the prohibited grounds in any matter in which the State has exclusive control.
  • Clause (2) specifies the prohibited grounds in any matter in which the State and even private individuals have exclusive control.
  • Clause (3) enables the government to make special provisions for the protection of women and children.
  • A discrimination 'only' on any of the above mentioned grounds is invalid. However, there can be a discrimination on any of the above mentioned grounds and also on other grounds not mentioned above is considered valid.
  • 'Place of public resort' includes a public park, public road, public bus, ferry, public urinals, railways, hospital etc.
  • In Clause (3), provisions 'for' the women could be made and not 'against' the women. Further, provisions in favor of women and against men are valid but provisions in favor of men and against women are invalid.
  • Clause (4) is an enabling clause and confers discretion to the State on the use of these provisions. Hence these are not obligatory to the State to take action under it.

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws

the college was located would have to pay a capitation fee for admission, whereas residents would not. The court held that the discrimination was based on place of residence, and not on place of birth, and therefore, it did not violate A.15(1).