Article 15 Of Indian Constitution

Article authored by Nandini Mangla, law student from BVPNLC, Pune


In India, the discrimination between men and women or different groups of people has been increased . The basis of discrimination are race, religion , gender, caste , place of birth etc. In fact the upper caste people also believed that if the lower caste person shadow touched them so he or she will be harassed and again go for bathing, water of well also divided between them and devotees ( lower caste people) prohibited to enter in the temple . It seemed to me like a nightmare that people were discriminated because of religion, caste etc. Seriously it talk that our country is not a democratic country and people have no unity towards each other. To laid down this discrimination and make India democratic is compulsory to prohibited this discrimination so law makers (legislation) make a law which will be included in Article 15 of our Indian constitution.  

What is Article 15 of Indian Constitution?

Article 15 defines that prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth. But our legislatures don’t define the word ‘discrimination. So question arises that what does discrimination signify or denotes? Discrimination occurs when any person treated or distinguished in a narrow favorable manner other hand another person under similar circumstances or if you are disadvantaged by being placed an equal footing on different circumstance. The word discrimination is to be contrary to the principles of equality.

Article 15 define din some clauses which are-

Religion The person ethnic origin should not be the bases of discrimination. This means person does not discriminate in school, colleges, work place on any public place because of his religion. Ex if a person religion is Muslim but he is intelligent and knowledge of Work and other Hindu who don’t know anything, because of the religion Muslim should don’t get job this discrimination prohibited.

Caste- To prevent the atrocities on the lower castes by the upper caste this discrimination also prohibited.

Place of Birth- A place where a person is born should not become reason of discrimination.

Sex- The people will be discriminated only because of their gender so this will also prohibited. Ex men, women, transgender.

Case State of Rajasthan v/s Pratap Singh (AIR 1960 SC)

 Facts-According to Police Act 1861 in Rajasthan certain areas declare sensitive one more police station established. Everyone should contribute order of Commissioner, Muslim and Harijans were exempted from paying.

Held- SC held that this would violate the Article15(1) everyone has to pay to build a other police station.

  • No, citizen shall, on grounds only for religion, caste, race, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition with regard to-
  • Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment.
  •  The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of state funds or dedicated to the use of general public

Explanation-(1)It is a matter of legal right that the public have to access the public resort, hotels . However this is a right of each individual where they want to go for dinner or lunch in any hotel, or any cinema and other places too no one can discriminate them because of their caste, religion etc. and Resort also not prohibited them to enter and eat their food.  (2) An exclusive use of a public well public puts an claimed on this , it established that well was not use of the general public but it was dedicated to the exclusive use of that particular section of the public.

  • Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children.

Explanation-  From the ancient times women in India was economically and socially handicapped , it was result that women were not allowed to take participation in socio economic activities of nation and they don’t get equality also. The purpose of this clause to made is to give the equal status to women, women also participate in all activities of nation and educate them, so the socio backwardness of women is decreased and gave power to them as a manner that she would be counted as equal to men. There cannot be any discrimination on the ground of gender.  Protect women for violence govt. make any act regarding this like Domestic Violence Act 1956. And make special provision to protect the women.

Case – State of Andhra Pradesh v/s PB Vijay Kumar (AIR 1995 SC)

SC held that acc. to Article15(3) the state fix quota for women in govt. offices i.e 30% and also said all the things will be same and but preference given to women should be extended from total posts with reference to this article.

  • State has power to make special provision for advancement of any socially educationally backward classes of citizens or for the SC’s, ST’s.

Explanation- It makes a few provisions for development of SC’s and ST’s so they can upgrade their standard of living and don’t bag. The govt. reserved seats for these people in engineering, medical and other technological colleges. Reservation is possible only in this clause. The govt. made reservation for these people upto 50%.

 This article was added in our constitution after this case

Case- State of Madras v/s Champakam Dorai Rajan (AIR1951 SC)

FACTS- Madras govt. has fixed the seats in state medical college, engineer college foe different communities in certain proportions and the state violates Article15(1)  to promote social justice on the bases of religion, caste, race. State defended the law which they made to reserve the seats to promote social justice under Article 46 of DPSP.

HELD- Supreme Court held that law made by madras is void because on the bases of religion, caste, race will be provide seats irrespective of merits Article15(1) violated . But parliament amended this article by 1st Amendment Act 1951 in Constitution added under Article 15(4).

Case- Islamic Academy v/s State of Karnataka(AIR2003 SC)

Held- SC held thatstate can fixed quota for admission Common Entrance Test Exam to educational institutions but cannot reserved seats and it is mandatory to give exam and admission done only by Entrance Test exam.

Case-  P.A.Inamdar & Ors v/s State of Maharashtra (AIR 2005 SC)

Held-This case overruled the earlier case. Held that state can fixed quotas of specific group of people which include socially, economically, educationally backward class of people in private institutions also. Because of this 93rd Amendment Act 2006 came into existence and next clause of Article 15 added.

  • The advancement of any socially and educationally backward class of citizens or for the SC’s,  ST’s in so far as such special provisions related to their admission to educational institutions including private institutions, whether aided or un- aided by the state.

Explanation- From the power of states educational institution of minority excludes by the Constitution for the advancement of educationally, backward classes of citizens or SC’s, ST’s regarding admission of educational institutions include private institutions also whether aided or un-aided.


This article prohibits the discrimination between people in public places also. When the law makers made this article it does not include clause (4&5) . But after the amendment only this article includes these clauses. This article provides reservation to economically backward class people but this will be decided by the state that which group of people if backward class and those groups really want reservations. And limit of reservation also fixed. Women also get equal status, rights and participate in all activities of nations. Women also get some special provisions so she can be protected and became an independent.

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