Article 15 of the Indian Constitution – No Discrimination

  • Sandhya Prabhakaran
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  • Sandhya Prabhakaran

    Student at Amity Law School, Noida, India

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This research paper focusses on the provisions of Article 15 of the Constitution of India that widely discusses about protection of citizens of India from any type of discrimination. India is a very diverse country and has people following different religions, beliefs, speaking different languages, cultural differences, etc., in a country with such diversity, discrimination occurs definitely. For the protection of the rights and interests of the citizens, the Article 15 exists. It protects the citizens of India from racism, untouchability, discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, and various other forms of discrimination. The type of discrimination that is widely evident in India is the discrimination based on caste system. The division of lower caste and upper caste is the birth of discrimination and untouchability, even though untouchability is an offence in India now and abolished, there are still parts of India, where people face untouchability due to lack of legal awareness and caste beliefs. The people divided as lower castes are discriminated the most for being born under a particular caste that is believed to be ranked low from those people who are born in higher caste, this leads to discrimination. The Article 15 strictly describes such discrimination as an offence and people who are found guilty of such offence are punished and penalized. For economic advancements of the socially backward classed due to such discrimination that took place in India before independence, the Constitution of India provides reservation to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes of the citizens. In 2019, another category of weaker section was added by insertion of Clause (6) in Article 15, the Economically Weaker Sections (or the EWS). The Article 15 provides reservation to the people from these sections in educational institutions, in government jobs as well as in some private jobs. It is done for providing them an equal opportunity to advance economically as they are backward financially and socially due to the discrimination, struggles, and challenges they have faced pre-independence. Not only on the basis of backwardness, but Article 15 also covers discrimination based on gender. Women have been fighting for equal rights and opportunities for a long period of time and slowly they are getting recognized even though the provisions existed way back since the 1950s. Article 15 covers the protection of women and providing them special provisions for the purpose of achieving the objective of equality as stated in the preamble of the Constitution of India. Women rights are widely considered with the dynamic changed being adapted by the society. Not only women, even the other genders of the LGBTQ+ communities have started gaining recognition and protection. There is still need for more provisions for the other genders of the LGBTQ+ communities, other than women, they face a lot of discrimination, verbal as well as physical abuse. Even their interests were not accepted until 2018 when the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was decriminalized. In countries other than India, the outbreak, and protests for them have been going on since 1952 and many nations have accepted them and have provided them protection through rights. Racism is also a form of discrimination seen in India that needs more stricter regulations. This paper explains and discusses elaborately the provisions of Article 15, the related case laws that have taken place over the yeas and critical analysis of the existing provisions and the need for changes.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 5, Page 1058 - 1072


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