The meaning of Equality before law which is defined under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. It is one of the fundamental right.
Recently, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) has been implemented in India. This law provides Indian citizenship to the migrants of six religious communities of three countries.
The enactment of the CAA is opposed by many Indian citizens, citing the reasons that it has granted Indian citizenship to six religious communities on the basis of religion while a particular religious community is excluded. So it’s a clear cut violation of article 14. While other Indians think that CAA does not discriminate with others.
What are the Exceptions to Right to Equality:
It is not like that the ‘Rule of Equality’ applies thoroughly. There are some exceptions to this that is why it does not apply in case of these circumstances and individuals.
I. No criminal proceeding shall be initiated or continued against the President or the governor in any court during his/her term of office.
II. No court can issue an arrest warrant of the President or Government during his/her term of office.
III. No member of state Legislature (MLA) shall be liable to any proceeding in any court in respect of any statement or any vote given by him in the state Legislature.
IV. No member of parliament (MP) shall be liable to any proceeding in any court in respect of any statement or any vote given by him in the Parliament.
V. The United Nations and its agencies also have diplomatic immunity.
VI. Foreign (sovereign ruler), ambassadors and diplomatic persons will be free from criminal and civil cases.
Article 14 says that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
This means that every person, who lives within territory of India, has the equal right before the law. That equals will be treated equally.
This article constitutes of 2 parts, being:
1. Equality before law and
2. Equal protection of the laws.
Although both sound similar, they don’t mean the same. The word “Law” in the former expression is used in a genuine sense – a philosophical sense, whereas the word “Laws” in the latter expression denotes specific laws in force.
Article 15 says that the state shall not any discriminate against any citizen on ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
Article 16 guarantee equality of opportunity in matters of employment under the state. The right is available to citizens only.
Article 17 deals with a peculiar problem of our country. Howsoever praiseworthy the caste system in its origin might have been, it certainly proved to be a disgrace to humanity, a threat to unity and a serious hindrance to social, educational and economic progress of our country.
Article 18 Abolition of titles No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State Right to Freedom.
The Indian Constitution has granted the right to equality to all citizens. All are equal before the law and there can be no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, gender, place of birth, etc.