Article 15 of Indian constitution

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article 15 of constitution of India

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  • 1. On the basis of reports that the inhabitants of certainvillages were harboring dacoits, the government ofRajasthan sanctioned posting of additional police in thosevillages. The expenses were to be borne by the villagers but theHarizan & Muslim inhabitants of these villages wereexempted from this liability.

2. Under the City of Bombay Police Act, while a personborn outside Greater Bombay could be extern if hewas convicted of any of the offences mentioned inPolice Act, none such action could be taken againsta person born within Greater Bombay. 3. The residents of Madhya Bharat were exemptedfrom payment of a capitation fee for admission tothe State Medical college, while the non-residentswere required to pay the same . 4. Rule- granting a special allowance to the women principalsworking in a wing of the Punjab Educational Services waschallenged on the ground that their male counterparts werenot given the same benefit although both performed identicalduties. 5. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1984 decidedthat women were not getting their due share of publicemployment. It decided to take certain remedial measures. On 2.1.1984 it issued G.O.Ms. No.2, General Administration(Services-A) Department stating policy decisions taken by theState Government in respect of reservations for women inpublic services, to a specified extent. Pursuant to this policy decision, Rule 22-A was introduced inthe Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rulesunder the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India. 6. It reads as follows:- "22-A: Notwithstanding anythingcontained in these Rules or Special or Ad-hoc Rules- (1) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts for whichwomen are better suited than men, preference shall be givento women; (G.O..Ms.MNo.472, G.A. dated 11.10.1985): Provided that such absolute preference to women shall notresult in total exclusion of men in any category of posts. (2) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts for whichwomen and men are equally suited, other things being equal,preference shall be given to women and they shall be selectedto an extent of at least 30% of the posts in each category ofO.C., B.C., S.C., and S.T. quota. (3) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts which arereserved exclusively for being filled by women they shall befilled by women only." Sub-rule (2) of this Rule was challenged before the SupremeCourt. 7. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen ongrounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth orany of them. Clause 1 prohibits the state form discriminating againstcitizens on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex,place of birth or any of them. The expression discriminate against according toConcise Oxford Dictionary, means select of unfavorabletreatment. Discrimination in this sense involves an element ofprejudice. If prejudice is disclosed and is based on any of thegrounds mentioned in Article 15, the law must be struckdown. 8. Article 15 is a facet of Article 14. Like Article 14, Article 15(1) also cover the entire range ofstate activities. Scope of Article 15 is narrower than that of Article 14.1. Article 14 is general in nature in the sense it appliesboth to citizens and non citizens. Article 15(1) cover only the Indian citizens. No non-citizencan claim right under Article 15(1).2. Article 14 permits any reasonable classification onthe basis of any rational criterion Article 15(1), certain grounds mentioned therein cannever form the basis of classification. 9. On the basis of reports that the inhabitants of certainvillages were harboring dacoits, the government ofRajasthan sanctioned posting of additional police in thosevillages. The expenses were to be borne by the villagers butthe Harizan & Muslim inhabitants of these villages wereexempted from this liability. This was quashed as being discriminatory on the ground ofcaste or religion as it discriminated against the peaceloving villagers other than harizans & Muslims. State of Rajasthan v. Pratap Singh, AIR 1960 SC 1208 10. Under the City of Bombay Police Act, while a personborn outside Greater Bombay could be extern if hewas convicted of any of the offences mentioned inPolice Act, none such action could be taken againsta person born within Greater Bombay. This was discrimination on the basis of place ofbirth, and so was invalid under Article 15(1). In re Shaikh Husein Shaik Mahomed AIR 1951 SCBom 285 11. The residents of Madhya Bharat were exemptedfrom payment of a capitation fee for admission tothe State Medical college, while the non-residentswere required to pay the same . The Supreme Court negatived the plea ofdiscrimination by the non-residents under Article15(1) because the ground of exemption wasresidence and not place of birth. D.P.Doshi v. Madhya Bharat, AIR 1955 SC 334 12. Article 15(2) contains a prohibition of a generalnature and is not confined to the state only. 13. Article 15(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State frommaking any special provision for women andchildren.Article 16(2)No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race,caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any ofthem, be ineligible for, or discriminated against inrespect of, any employment or office under the State. 14. Rule Male candidate ineligible for the post ofsenior Tutor in the school of Nursing. Held Violative of Article 16 (2) and was not savedby Article 15(3). Delhi H.C took the view that the matter relating toemployment falls under Article 16 and not underArticle 15(3).Walter Alfred Baid, Sister Tutor (Nursing) IrwinHospital v. U.O.I, AIR 1976 Del. 302 15. Rule- granting a special allowance to the women principalsworking in a wing of the Punjab Educational Services waschallenged on the ground that their mail counterparts werenot given the same benefit although both performed identicalduties. Constitutional Validity of the rule was challenged underArticle 16(2). Petitioners Contention Reservation of posts or appointment for any backward classis permissible under Article 16(2) but not for womenso noreservation can be made as it would amount todiscrimination on the ground of sex in public employmentwhich would be violative of Article 16(2). 16. Upheld the rule under Article 15(3), holding thateven though the discrimination was based on theground of sex, it was saved by Article 15(3). Article 15(3) could be invoked for construing &determining the scope of Article 16(2). Shamsher Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 1970 P&H372 17. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1984 decidedthat women were not getting their due share of publicemployment. It decided to take certain remedial measures. On 2.1.1984 it issued G.O.Ms. No.2, General Administration(Services-A) Department stating policy decisions taken by theState Government in respect of reservations for women inpublic services, to a specified extent. Pursuant to this policy decision, Rule 22-A was introduced inthe Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rulesunder the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India. 18. It reads as follows:- "22-A: Notwithstanding anythingcontained in these Rules or Special or Ad-hoc Rules- (1) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts for whichwomen are better suited than men, preference shall be givento women; (G.O..Ms.MNo.472, G.A. dated 11.10.1985): Provided that such absolute preference to women shall notresult in total exclusion of men in any category of posts. (2) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts for whichwomen and men are equally suited, other things being equal,preference shall be given to women and they shall be selectedto an extent of at least 30% of the posts in each category ofO.C., B.C., S.C., and S.T. quota. (3) In the matter of direct recruitment to posts which arereserved exclusively for being filled by women they shall befilled by women only." Sub-rule (2) of this Rule was challenged before the SupremeCourt. 19. Petitioner filed a writ petition before the Andhra Pradesh HighCourt challenging rule 22-A (2). Ground of challenge Rule is violative of Articles 14 and 16(4) of the Constitution andhad seriously affected all male unemployed persons in the Stateof Andhra Pradesh. Single Judge A single Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court upheld thevalidity of Rule 22-A. Division Bench In appeal before the High Court, however, a Division Benchstruck down a portion of Rule 22-A(2) as unconstitutional whileupholding sub-rules (1) and (3) of Rule 22-A. The portion of sub-rule (2) which is struck down is the lastportion of that sub-rule containing the words "and they shallbe selected to an extent of at least 30% of the posts in eachcategory of O.C., B.C., S.C., and S.T. quota". 20. Issue before the Supreme Court Does sub-rule (2) of Rule 22-A violate Articles 14 or 16(4)? Respondents arguments:- If Article 16(2) is read with Article 16(4) it is clear thatreservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backwardclass of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is notadequately represented in the services under the State isexpressly permitted. But there is no such express provision in relation to reservationof appointments or posts in favour of women under Article 16. Therefore State cannot make any reservation in favour ofwomen in relation to appointments or posts under the State. This would amount to discrimination on the ground of sex inpublic employment or appointment to posts under the Stateand would violate Article 16(2). 21. Supreme Courts Observations- Article 15(1) would prevent a State from making anydiscriminatory law on the ground of sex alone. The State, by virtue of Article 15(3), is permitted, despiteArticle 15(1), to make special provisions for women, thusclearly carving out a permissible departure from the rigours ofArticle 15(1). Interrelation between Articles 14, 15 and 16 Article 15 deals with every kind of State action in relation