Article 15 of the Indian Constitution

Part III – Fundamental Rights

Article 15.

Prohibition of the discrimination on the grounds of religion ,race, caste, Sex, and Place of Birth.

It is available to every citizen of India.

No Citizen is to be discriminated on these five grounds-

  • Religion
  • Race
  • Caste
  • Sex
  • Place of Birth

Article 15(1). It applies on citizens as it says “ State” shall not discriminate any citizen on the above mentioned 5 grounds.

Article15(2). It applies on citizens and it states that -No citizen shall be discriminate on above 5 grounds even subject to disability, restriction or condition.

1. Access to any shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment.

2. Any Place maintained by wholly or partly by state funds or any thing of public use.

Article 15(3). State has power to make any special provisions for women & children.

CASE:- Yusuf Abdul Aziz V/S state Bombay.( 1954)

This case is related to the offence of adultery to under sec 497 of Indian penal code as the petitioner alleged it to be biased in favour of females as only males were punishable under the section of IPC.

But now this section is merely a ground for divorce.

Article 15(4). It was inserted by 1st amendment for Act 1951.

State has power to make any special provisions for the advancement of backward classes citizens or for Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribes.

CASE:- State of Madras V/S Champakaran Dorairajan.(1951)

In this case Madras govt. reserved the seats in Medical College for different communities and further stated that it was done to promote social justice by article 46 of DPSP.

SC declared the law as void as it discriminate students on the basis of caste rather then merit and held that DPSP can’t overruled the FR.

So after this case 1st amendment act and clause (4) was added so that state can make provisions for backward classes.

Article 15(4). Raise 2 questions

1. Who are persons to be consider as socially & Educationally backward classes.

2. What is the unit of reservation.

Backward classe is not defined in the constitution Article 340 empowers president to appoint a commission to prepare report then president can specify who are considered as Backward classes.

CASE:- Balaji V/S state of Mysore.(1963)

Mysore govt. reserved the state in Medical College as follows :-

Backward Classes – 28%

More Backward classes – 22%

Scheduled Caste & Tribes – 18%

 68% of seat were reserved and only 32% of was made available to the person’s of merit.

 Court held that classification made here is not justifiable V/A 15(4) and Backward must be both social and Educational and not either social or educational.

 Caste may be a factor but it can’t be sole test for as certaing whether a particular class is a backward class or not.

 In this case Court held that reservation shall not exceed 50%.

 Categorisation of backward class is not valid

CASE:- Indira Sawhney vs. Union of India (1993)

(Mandal Commisssion Case)

SC with the majority of 6:3 held that sub-classification of backward into more backward classes is valid and also held that caste cannot be the sole basis for defining Backward classes.

Article 15(5)

• It was added from a 93rd amendment Act 2005

• State can make special provisions for

  • Socially & Educationally backward classes
  • SC
  • ST

• For taking admission in Educational Institutes including private institutions whether aided or unaided by the state.

• Exception—Educational minority institution mentioned in article 30(1)

Article 15(6).

• State shall make special provision for Economically weaker section of citizens

• State can also make special provision for the advancement or for the admission in educational institutions including private institution.

• Article 15 clause 6 was inserted by the constitution 103rd Amendment Act 2019.

Author: Arpit Gangwar,
Invertis University/ bba LLB 2 year/student

Leave a Comment