Article 15 of the Indian Constitution

Brief Description of Articles

Article 15 is a very important article of the Indian Constitution. Let us read in brief about all the sub articles that comes under it.


Articles Brief Description of Articles:
Art 15(1) The State shall not discriminate among citizens on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.
Art 15(2)

It prohibits the state and the individual from discriminating against any citizens only on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, Place of birth, or any of them.

Art 15(3) The state can make special provisions for the welfare of women and children.
Art 15(4) Special provision for the advancement of socially and economically backward classes of citizens or SC and ST.
Art 15(5) To make special provisions for the admission of backward classes of citizens in educational institutions.

Article 15 of the Indian Constitution

  1. Article 15 (1) – Right Against Discrimination

  • Article 15 of the Indian Constitution says that states that the State shall not discriminate against citizens only on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, Place of birth, or any of them alone.

Argument-

In the past, the Indian Armed forces didn’t allow women in armed forces. Still, didn’t give them absolute independence as compared to men.

Isn’t it some sort of discrimination on basis of sex?

No, it is not. Well, sex was not the only reason they didn’t allow women. The biological realities of women are different as compared to men. Such discrimination has nothing to do with sex.

Article 15 of the Indian Constitution orders states not to discriminate because of caste.

But when State provides reservations based on Caste. Isn’t this discrimination on grounds of caste?

Reason- Caste was not the alone factor taken into consideration while giving reservation. It also took other reasons into consideration, such as backwardness.

Any factor in religion, race, caste, sex, Place of birth, or any of them alone will be protective discrimination but not discrimination.


Note
that constitution-makers didn’t mention protective discrimination in the constitution explicitly.


So, Giving Scholarship, Reservation, Easy promotion comes under Protective discrimination.

Protective discrimination is necessary for the Right to equality.

Note- The argument is for understanding only.

  1. Article 15 (2) 

  • It prohibits the state and the individual from discriminating against any citizens only on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.
  • In having access to public places such as park hotels, entertainment hubs, hospitals,.
  • Also, In having access to Wells, Ghats, Tanks, Roads and so on which are maintained under state fund.

Difference between Art – 15 (1) and Art – 15 (2)

  • Article 15 (1) gives direction to the states to not discriminate among people, which makes it a positively worded Article.
  • Article 15(2) restricts or prohibits the state from discriminating among people. IT made Article 15 (2) a negatively worded (not in intention) article as it prohibits the State.

Explanation-

Article 15 (2): available against both:
The State & The Individual.

Famous Cases related to Article 15 (2):
1. Sabarimala temple Case.
2. Shani Singapur temple case.

In both cases, they prohibited women to enter Temple under certain grounds. Later on, they lifted the ban as it poses a violation of Article 15 (2).


Also, In 1984, the management of the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri didn’t allow Indira Gandhi to enter the temple because she had married a Parsi, Feroze Gandhi. 

She put the case against the temple where the later judgment came in her favor.



But the question is not legal or illegal. The ownership of the Temple will also matter.


For example:
 If the temple belongs to a person individually, one cannot say that he/they denied their entry into the temple. 


The owner of the temple is having the authority to allow or disallow someone entering the temple, especially if it is personal.

However, if the temple has repercussions on many people. Then one cannot disallow someone from entering the temple.

Repercussion means having “an effect”


Also, if Government is funding a particular temple, then nobody can prevent people from entering public places. 


Public places are those places which are:
1. Funded by Government.
2. Having Repercussions on many people.
3. Receiving donations from people.

If they meet any of the three conditions, they can fight legality.

Note- Explanation is just for understanding only.

  1. Article 15 (3) – Women and Children

  • This article is an exception to Article 15 (1), as it says that State can make special provisions for the welfare of women and children.
  • For example, State can give scholarships to women and not to men.
  • Also, the State can provide Educational benefits to children, not to adults.
  1. Article 15(4) – Backward Classes

Backward Classes Article 15
  • It was first introduced by the 1st Amendment Act of 1951.
  • It empowers the state to make any special provision for the advancement of socially and economically backward classes of citizens or SC and ST.
  1. Article 15 (5)

  • Introduced by the 93rd Amendment Act 2005.
  • It empowers the state to make special provisions for the admission of backward classes of citizens in educational institutions (Private & Government) both aided and unaided, except for minority educational institutions.

This led to passaging Central Education Institutions (reservation in admission act 2006), which provided for reserving up to 27% seats for OBC’S in central Educational Institutions (IIT, IIM, etc) except for:

  1. Minority Educational institutions.

  2. Those in Schedule 6 Areas. (Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, etc)

  3. Certain Specified Research Institutions like Tata Institution of Fundamental Research, Physical Research Lab (Hyderabad)

Explanation-

Before 2006. All the Central Education Institutions (IIT, IIM, etc) come under the central government.

There was no reservation for OBC. Even the constitution didn’t empower Parliament to change laws initially related to the reservation policy.

So firstly Parliament Amended the constitution & taken power itself from the constitution. And then parliament added Article 15 (5).

And then the parliament made law in reservation policy.

NOTE- Explanation is for understanding only.


Greetings, you have finished Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. If you have any doubts or queries, leave a comment below. We will respond as soon as possible.

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