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Equality, Rule of Law and Justice under the Constitution of India

Equality in itself is one of the most complex topics. What may be equality for one may be discrimination for others.

Aristotle defined Equality as a facet of justice. It is an obligation of the State to treat all the people equally. It was in the 19th Century that equality took shape as a legal mandate.

In the Gulf Case, equality was confined to racial discrimination only but later it was applied to all economic, social, and regulatory actions of the state. State actions cannot run contrary to the rule of equality.

In India, Articles 14, 15, and 16 were enacted to translate the Doctrine of Equality into a specific legal mandate against the state and its actions. But these apply only to the state and all private actions are out of their purview. However, it must be noted that in England and USA, private actions are also covered under the ambit of the Rule of Equality.

Article 14 of the Constitution gives the right to be treated equally and imposes a specific mandatory obligation on the state to not cause discrimination.

It is the duty of the Government to imply the rule of Equality in all its actions that affect the liberty of the people. However, the rule of equality is not literally interpreted and the state is allowed to make justified discrimination. There exists an obligation on the state to treat the unequal people differently. The government sought to classify people in a way that is in nexus to the object sought to be achieved.

It was in Anor Ali Sarkar's Case, that the Classification test was introduced in India. Justice Bhagwati and Justice Chandrachud have given remarkable opinions in this regard.

In conclusion, equality is not completely justifiable in any manner. People can interpret it in various ways and the judiciary has played a major role in affecting the views of the people.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Tamanna Pasi
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