Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts


The article is written by Sneha Mahawar, a  law student at Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies. The article discusses the important highlights and gives an overview of the Budget 2021-22. 

Introduction of Budget 

As per Article 112 of the Constitution of India, 1949, it requires the government to present to parliament a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure in respect of every financial year- 1st April to 31st March. In our Indian Constitution budget is written as an Annual Financial Statement. It is a spending plan formulated by the government mentioning their expenditure and revenue for a certain time period. 

However, in the general sense, budget is regarded as the amount of money or resources earmarked for a particular institution, activity, or time frame. It is an itemized summary of intended expenditure usually coupled with expected revenue. 

Important highlights of Budget 2021-22

  • On 1st February 2021, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman presented in the Parliament the budget for 2021-22 the financial year starting from 1st April 2021 and ending on 31st March 2022. 

  • While presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Budget proposals for this financial year rest on six pillars- Health and Well-being, Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, and Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. 

  • Moreover, other significant announcements included a slew of hikes in customs duty to benefit Make in India, a proposal to disinvest two more PSBs and a general insurance company, and numerous infrastructure pledges to poll-bound States. The fiscal deficit stands at 9.5% of the GDP and is estimated to be 6.8% in 2021-22. Personal income tax slabs remain as it is.  

  • The budget seeks to reduce the compliance burden on senior citizens who are of 75 years of age and above. Such senior citizens having only pension and interest income will be exempted from filing their income tax returns.  

Six pillars of Budget 2021-22

  1. Health and Wellbeing 

  • In the budget 2021-22 the government announced that PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 crore over 6 years. This will benefit in developing capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary health care systems. 

  • The primary health care system deals with the health care system at the village level. 

  • The secondary health care system deals with the health care system of the city hospitals. 

  • The tertiary health care system deals with the health care system of the super-specialty hospital such as AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences). 

  • A provision was created of Rs. 35,000 crore for the covid-19 vaccine in Budget estimate 2021-22. 

  • The government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan and launch Mission POSHAN 2.0.  

  • Poshan Abhiyan targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women, and adolescent girls), and reduce low birth weight. 

  • Supplementary Nutrition Programme is a scheme under which infants were provided with supplementary nutrition. 

  • A Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy was announced to phase out old and unfit vehicles. 

  • The Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy is expected to increase the production and capacity utilisation of vehicles. 

  • The Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy is seen as an attempt by the government to boost automobile demand. 

  • Fitness test has been proposed in automated fitness centres after 20 years in the case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in the case of commercial vehicles. 

  1. Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure

Roads and Highways Infrastructure

  • More than 13,000 km length of roads, at a cost of Rs. 3.3 lakh crore, has already been awarded under the 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojna Project of which 38,000 km has been constructed. 

  • By March 2022, the government would be awarding another 8,500 km and complete an additional 11,000 km of national highway corridors. 

Railway Infrastructure 

  • Indian railways have prepared a National Rail Plan for India- 2030. 

  • The plan is to create a “future-ready” railway system by 2030. 

  • The core strategy to enable “Make in India” is to bring down the logistic costs for our industry. 

  • By June 2022, it is expected that Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) will be commissioned. 

  • Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) starts at Sahnewal (Ludhiana) in Punjab and ends at Dankuni in West Bengal. 

  • Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai, touching all major ports along the way.  

Urban Infrastructure 

  • The government announced that a new scheme will be launched at a cost of Rs. 18,000 crore to support the augmentation of public bus transport services. 

  • Two new technologies namely, MetroLite and MetroNeo will be deployed to provide metro rail systems at a much lesser cost with the same experience, convenience, and safety in Tier-2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier-1 cities.

Petroleum and Natural Gas increasing 


  • Following key initiatives are being announced:

  • Ujjwala Scheme is a scheme under which women under Below Poverty Line (BPL)are provided free LPG cylinders which have benefitted 8 crore households will be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries. 

  • The government will add 100 more districts in the next 3 years to the City Gas Distribution network. 

  • A gas pipeline project will be taken up in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Insurance Sector

  • It was proposed to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 to increase the permissible FDI limit from 49% to 74% and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards. 

Disinvestment and Strategic Sale 

  • The Finance Minister said several transactions namely BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachallspat Nigam limited among others would be completed in 2021-22. (Disinvestment)

  • Other than IDBI Bank, Government proposes to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22. 

  • In 2021-22, the government would also bring the IPO of LIC for which the requisite amendments will be made in the session itself. 

  1. Inclusive Development for Aspirational India

Agriculture 

  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has undergone a sea change to assure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. 

  • To provide adequate credit to our farmers, the government has enhanced the agricultural credit target to Rs. 16.5 lakh crore in Fiscal Year 2022. 

  • To boost value addition in agriculture and allied products and their exports, the scope of ‘Operation Green Scheme’ that is presently applicable to tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOP), will be enlarged to include 22 perishable products. 

Migrant Workers and Labours 

  • The government has launched the One Nation One Ration Card scheme through which beneficiaries can claim their rations anywhere in the country. One Nation One Ration Card plan is under implementation by 32 states and union territories, reaching about 69 crore beneficiaries (86% beneficiaries covered). The remaining 4 states and union territories will be integrated in the next few years. 

  • Government proposes to conclude a process that began 20 years ago, with the implementation of the 4 labour codes. For the first time globally, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers. 

  1. Reinvigorating Human Capital

Education 

  • The Finance Minister said that the National Education Policy (NEP) announced recently has had good reception while adding that more than 15,000 schools will be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy.

  • It was further announced that 100 new Sainik schools will be set up in partnership with NGO’s/private schools/states. 

  • For accessible higher education in Ladakh, the government proposed to set up a Central University in Leh. 

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare 

  • The government has set a target of establishing 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal areas with an increase in the unit cost of each such school from Rs. 20 crore to Rs. 38 crore, and for hilly and difficult areas, to Rs. 48 crore. 

  1. Innovation and R&D

  • The government will undertake a new initiative- National Language Translation Mission (NLTM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy-related knowledge on the internet to be made available in major Indian languages. 

  • The New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSU under the department of space will execute the PSLV-CS51 launch, carrying the Amazonia Satellite from Brazil, along with a few smaller Indian satellites. 

  1. Minimum Government and Maximum Governance

  • The government announced that the forthcoming Census could be the first digital census in the history of India and for this monumental and milestone-marking task, Rs, 3,768 crores allocated in the year 2021-22. 

  • The Finance Minister has stated that the fiscal deficit is RE 2020-21 is pegged at 9.5% GDP.

  • The fiscal deficit in BE 2021-22 is estimated to be 6.8% of GDP.

  • The government plan to continue the path of fiscal consolidation and intend to reach a fiscal deficit level below 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26 with a fairly steady decline over the period. 

Conclusion 

Hence, budget 2021-22 covers various aspects such as health, sanitization, infrastructure, education, tax, economy, finance, agriculture, employment, etc. It also includes economic reform schemes, direct tax proposals, indirect tax proposals, etc. 

References 






Introduction

The follies that Indian Political System had imbibed since long was put on hold in the year 1985 when an infamous Haryana-MLA switched between two parties thrice a day in the year 1967. This incident was a highlight for the Parliament to finally, reach a saturation point and then enacted a proper law for such kind of defection. Currently, Indian Political system has a protecting gear to hinder such malpractices done by the legislators, yet the system fails to prevent such defection time and again. This evil practise still brings instability and continues to churn the political system of India.

                                        
Anti-Defection Law was brought to deal with such members of the legislature who are easy prey for the other political parties to entice them to be able to prove majority in the House by offering them hefty amounts or on other promises. Such Defection has a perpetual existence amongst the legislators, what was being perceived only as a north Indian politics earlier has now spread all across the nation. Recently, the disregard of the electoral mandate has been seen in many states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Manipur.

Enactment of Anti-Defection Law

Anti-Defection Law was enacted through a constitutional amendment in the year 1985. The 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act was brought to curb the politics of defection in the political system of India and 10th Schedule was added to the Constitution of India which talks about the Anti-Defection Law.

The defection of Legislators long existed in the political system but an infamous case of 1967 led it to the introduction of a bill to enact an Anti-Defection Law by the Rajiv Gandhi government. There was a time in the 1960s when an infamous slogan “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” was originated due to the continues practice of defection by the legislators. One specific case of such malpractice was when a Haryana-MLA switched between the two parties i.e., Indian National Congress (INC) and United Front, three times within a day. This was the worst turmoil of the defection practice in Indian political history.

52nd Constitutional Amendment

10th Schedule was inserted for the good of the Indian politics to curb the evil practice of detouring of legislator without any obligation to their own parties. Under the Anti- Defection Law a legislator can be disqualified from its original party on two grounds:
1) If a legislator voluntarily gives up the membership of the party he was associated with;
2) If a legislator acts against the direction of the party leader on a vote; meaning a legislator cannot disobey the party if he chooses to do so he shall be disqualified from the membership.
This law applies to both the Houses i.e. Parliament and State Assemblies.

There is an exception under Schedule 10 of the Constitution of India to protect the members from the disqualification of the membership of the party. Initially, if a party decides to merge with another party with one-third of its members then neither the members to decide to merge with another party get disqualified nor the legislator who decides to stay with the original party, both shall be immune from the disqualification. This exception led to another problem that parties started to use this split of one-third member formula unfairly.

91st Constitution Amendment Act (2003)

The lawmakers saw the unfair use of the exception provision of the Anti-Defection Law surging uncontrollably. In 2003, the 91st Amendment Act made changes to the initial Anti-Defection Law. The split numbers of the members were increased to two-third from the one-third, to merge with another party. Now if the two-third members of a party decide to split up and merge with another party or form a new party they shall be immune from the disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law.

91st Amendment also barred the member who is disqualified and his/her ministerial appointment until the period of disqualification or re-elected whichever is earlier.
The decision of the disqualification of the member shall be taken by the presiding officer of the House (in case of MPs) or the State Assemblies (in case of MLAs) and the decision of that presiding officer shall be final.

Landmark Case Laws

Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu and Others (1992)[1]

In this case, the Supreme Court held that the 10th Schedule gives the sweeping power to the presiding officer to decide upon the disqualification of the members and his decision shall be final, Supreme Court restricts the decision power of the presiding officer as final and puts his decision open to judicial review through appeal in High Court or Supreme Court.

Supreme Court also held that judiciary will only intervene once the order is passed from the presiding officer on the disqualification issue, not before that.
Supreme Court also clarifies that Paragraph 2 of Schedule 10 does not violate the freedom of speech and expression of the elected members under Article 105 and 194.

Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil v. The Hon’ble Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Ors., (2019)[2]

In this recent case when the 17 MLAs rebelled against their party, the presiding officer i.e. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly disqualifies those 17 MLAs, bans on them on contesting in an election until 2023. Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Speaker for disqualification of the 17 MLAs. Further Supreme Court denies the ban on contesting in election till 2023.
In this case the Supreme Court held the decision of the Presiding Officer as ultra vires.

Keisham Meghachandra Singh v. The Hon’ble Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly and Ors., (2020)[3]

In this case the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly slept on a disqualification petition filed for the defected members for three years. The Supreme Court held in this recent case that the Speaker must decide within 3 months from the disqualification petition is filed except in extraordinary circumstances. Supreme Court suggested the Parliament redefine the power of the Speaker. The Apex Court also suggested the formation of an independent tribunal for disqualification petitions for defected members.

Anti-Defection Law: Defected?

Position of the Members

At present, the misuse of the Anti-Defected law is much as if it is an avenue to be defected and not get disqualified rather the opposite. This evil practice is being justified by naming it political strategies. The continuous practice of the defection has stooped down the level of Indian Politics. Earlier this practice was sluggish but today it has paced up a lot, it has almost become a dominos, one state following the footstep of other of this evil practice of defection. MLAs have completely disregarded the democratic mandate and sell it like their own property.

The lacunae in the Anti-Defection Law are wide that gives straight and an easy avenue to the members who intend to make the mockery out of the law. Not only the members but the presiding officers also take advantage of the loopholes of the law.

Position of the Speaker

The Speaker or the Presiding Officer plays an important role as a sole decider of the defected members. The position of a Speaker is sine qua non in the Anti-Defection Law. The structural position of a Speaker is not unbiased, since the Speaker belongs to either of the parties present in the House. The Presiding Officer’s stance in a disqualification petition gets influenced by the party he belongs to.

The power of the presiding officer has been addressed before by the Supreme Court in Jagjit Singh v. State of Haryana & Ors (2006)[4] where the Apex Court highlighted the issue regarding the stance of the presiding Officer not being neutral. Again in the recent case of Manipur[5] Apex Court also suggested a few solutions to the concerning absolute power of the Presiding Officer and its unfair use.

Conclusion

India is a large democracy and the members of the Houses and Legislative Assemblies represent the people of their constituency through the electoral mandate. For the personal and political gain, the political parties pan out the evil practice of defection. Despite the bar on the defection it has now deeply inculcated in the political system to acquire the prime seat of the States or the Country.

The Anti-Defection Law must be reviewed by the Parliament and the lacunae are needed to be fixed. Indian Constitution reads the Separation of Power in its Preamble but the absolute Separation of Power is not exercised in the Nation unlike the United States of America. Today the Anti-Defection Law is in dire need of the Parliament and Judiciary to come together to make amendments as required and enforce the same to curtail the common practice of defection. 

Reference

[1] Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu and Ors., AIR 1993 SC 412.
[2] Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil v. The Hon’ble Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Ors., (2019) SCCOnLine SC 1454.
[3] Keisham Meghachandra Singh v. The Hon’ble Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly and Ors., (2020) SCCOnLine SC 55.
[4] Jagjit Singh v. State Of Haryana & Ors 2006 (11) SCC 1
[5] Keisham Meghachandra Singh supra Note 3.

Introduction:-

Indian Constitution provided to all citizens of the country justice- social, economic, political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship under the preamble; and equality of status and opportunity regardless of their caste, creed, status, religion, race, sex as per Article 15. But the gap which existed between the organized and unorganized sectors in our country remains to exist and it's totally wide.

Definitions:-

Unorganized sector and unorganized workers under the Unorganised Workers’ social insurance Act, 2008 -1
“Unorganised Sector means an enterprise owned by individuals or self- employed workers and engaged in production or sale of products or providing service of any kind whatsoever, and where the enterprise employs workers, the quantity of such workers is a smaller amount than ten.”

As per the report of the National Commission on Labour in 1969:-2
‘Unorganized workers’ are other groups of workers who don't seem to be covered under the definition of the organized group of workers and which they’re such as-
• Casual nature of employment.
• Ignorance and illiteracy.
• Small size of establishment with the low capital invested per person employed.
• Scattered nature of establishments.
• Muscular strength of the employer operating either singly or together.
Unorganized workers mean:-
• Owned by individuals or;
• Self-employed worker or;
• Engaged in casual and production or sale of products providing any reasonable service and where any enterprise employs workers, the number of workers could be a smaller amount than ten.

Problems of Unorganized Sectors:-

Low wages–

Wages are simply a vital factor that anyone works. There's the Minimum Wages Act that defines, The pay which must be paid to the employee by their employer, but the workers fail to get their minimum wages. The Supreme Court of India observed that employing workers at wage rates below the statutory wage levels is taken into consideration because the forced labor and is that the violation of Article 23 of the Indian Constitution.

 No Knowledge about Hazardous work and lack of Occupational Safety-

The working conditions and lack of safety tools within the unorganized sector is that the main cause to possess an adverse effect on the health conditions of workers and workers suffer from various health issues. These health issues are mostly associated with respiratory because of inhalation of the dust or because of the uncomfortable posture they are going to have problems with Body ache.

 No security of Job:-

The unorganized sector workers mostly add multiple jobs, undertaking multiple jobs could also be an indication of insecurity in jobs. Because one job or perhaps two might not generate enough income for livelihood. In India leader National Rural Workers Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 enacts to produce security working by guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days of labor within the foremost backward districts of the country who can perform manually.3

No definite working hours:-

There is another issue with unorganized sectors that they have long hours of labor. If we see the agricultural sector, there are no fixed hours of labor because there aren’t any such laws or guidelines for the agricultural workers. Just in case of other unorganized sectors like matchmaking, fireworks, etc. Their timings of labor are very early within the morning at 6.00 a.m. and continue till late evening, so there isn’t any certainty of working hours. In the handloom sector, the work is organized in such the best way that wages were supported 12-15 hours of labor per day. As per The Factories Act, 1948, The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 aims that no adult worker shall be required to work quite 48 hours every week.4 But these provisions are violated frequently. Therefore, there isn’t any such limitation on working hours in unorganized sectors.

Poverty:-

The unorganized sector workers had how the higher prevalence of poverty than their counterparts within the organized sector. Because they’re doing not have much income and uncertainty in their employment, during this caseworkers are unable to meet their basic needs of livelihood and other social responsibilities. 

No Proper Physical Environment at Place of Work:-

Lack of sanitation facilities includes control over the health of the workers. But, sanitary conditions are so precarious in most of the industries within the unorganized sector due to lack of proper toilet facilities. The facilities like washing, urinal, and toilet facilities at work are found to below standard. It’s going rather be said that no such facilities were provided to workers within the industries. Apart from that, physical conditions like space, lighting, ventilation, etc., are very poor.

No adulthood Security:-

Most of the provisions relating to the provident funds didn’t reach the event workers and contract laborers. The maturity or awareness could also be a serious concern of the workers within the unorganized sector workers. Agricultural workers and construction workers are feared by not having the ability to work during old age.

Problems with migrant workers:-

The Majority of migrant workers fall within the unorganized sector. No working hours are fixed. They belong to the poorest sections of the population and inadequate access to basic amenities. People who migrate from rural to urban areas have absolutely no rights once they arrive they lack bargaining power and are compelled to easily accept work for lesser wages.

Social Security to informal workers:-

Social security is extremely important for the welfare of the workers, it provides reasonable certainty. Social welfare measures have numerous benefits in promoting the workers, increasing the assembly level of the industry, and develop the feeling of surety among the workers. It had been also helpful for eradicating poverty to some extent. The Planning Commission constituted a committee on social welfare during the 12th Five Year Plan. In India out a whole workforce of 45.9 crores, 94% is within the unorganized sector, Ergo the 6% is within the organized sector. 
The organized sector workers are comes under social welfare legislation like Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, employee’s Provident Funds, and Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. The working committee of the designing Commission constituted a sub-committee in its first meeting to debate the issues. After taking various recommendations it's hoped that it might be useful for the formulation of the twelfth five-year plan. 

Unorganized Social Security Act, 2008

In the time of liberalisation, globalisation, and privatisation the country has seen a drastic change within the nature of employment and business environment. These changes created many problems within the perspective of social insurance. In this context, the issue of social welfare to the growing sector of unorganized workers draws more attention in emerging India. The govt. enacted much social insurance legislation for the welfare of unorganized workers also formulated many schemes. Unorganized Workers Social security Act, 2008 is one of the many activities which is exclusively for the protection of unorganized workers.

The National Social Security Board:-

1. They furnish a recommendation to the Union Government about suitable schemes for the unorganized workers.
2. Advise the Union Government on matters arising out of the administration of the act.
3. To look at the Social welfare schemes which are formulated for unorganized workers.
4. Review the registration and issue identity cards to the unorganized workers.
5. Review the record of functions performed by the authorities at the state level.
6. Review the expenditure from the funds of the various schemes.
7. Undertake another work as assigned by the central Government.

State Social Security board

The government at the state level is empowered to constitute the social insurance Board for the target of proper implementation of the Act. The Function and Composition of State social insurance are identical because of the National social insurance Board. The social insurance Boards, which are entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of the act, are just advisory and don't seem to be empowered to perform many functions except monitoring and review.

Conclusion

As many problems are faced by unorganized workers like low wages, exploitation of workers, bad conditions of workers, etc. that the legislative system of India protects the rights of the unorganized workers with the assistance of varied articles covered under the constitution of India. The Government of India took a step by enacted a legislation ‘Unorganized social insurance Act, 2008’ for providing Social Security to the unorganized workers who add an unorganized sector. In pursuance of this Act, the govt of India has implemented numerous schemes like Aam Admi Bima Yojana (Life Insurance), adulthood pension scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (health insurance), etc. The Central Government, under the requisite section and therefore the government under the required section, are empowered to create the principles for the graceful functioning.

Reference

i. Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008.Section 2(l)
ii. Government of India, Report of National Commission on Labour, (1969) p. 417.
iii. National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, Report on Social Security for Unorganised Workers, 2006 p. 22.
iv. The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 Act No. 11 Of 1948, [15th March, 1948.]

Introduction

Article 14 in India’s Constitution guarantees the right to equality for every citizen of the country. It encompasses the general principles of equality before the law and prohibits unreasonable discrimination between two persons. It incorporates the idea of equality expressed in the preamble. [1] Article 14 declares that ‘the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of law within the territory of India.’. thus article 14 uses the two expressions “equality before law” and “equal protection of law”. The phrase “equality before law” find a place in almost in written constitution that guarantees fundamental right both these expression .both this expression aim at establishing what is called “equality of status” While both the expression are kind of identical but they don’t give similar meaning.[2]

Equality before Law

The term has its origin from America and is somewhat a negative concept aiming at the implication of an absence of some special privileges. This can be by the reason of birth, religion, sex, caste, etc. and by the ordinary law in favour of persons and all the equal subject of classes.

Equal Protection of Law

The term has its origin from Britain and is somewhat a positive concept aiming at equal treatment in identical situations. In other words, the President or the Prime Minister of the country should be dealt in the same manner in law as that of a common citizen.

Rule of Law

The Rule of Law in England called by Dicey is an aspect of the guarantee of equality before the law. This means that irrespective of the rank of a person, his condition would be subject to the jurisdiction of ordinary courts as no man is above law. It is a requirement of the rule of law that no man should be subjected to uncivilized, discriminatory and harsh treatment. This would be applicable even when the objective is to secure a paramount need of law and order.[3] By incorporating in Article 14, the British doctrine of rule of law as propounded by Prof. Dicey and the “equal protection of law” clause of 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, the framers of our Constitution had in their zeal infused extra vigour and vitality in the right to equality.[4]

Rule Of Law In India :

1. Supremacy of Law:

The First meaning of the Rule of Law is that ‘no man is punishable or can lawfully be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land. It implies that a man may be punished for a breach of law but cannot be punished for anything else. No man can be punished except for a breach of law. An alleged offence is required to be proved before the ordinary courts in accordance with the ordinary procedure.

2. Equality before Law:-

The Second meaning of the Rule of Law is that no man is above law. Every man whatever be his rank or condition is subject to the ordinary law of the realm and amenable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals. Everybody under Article 14 is equal before law and have equal protection.

3. Individual Liberty

Lot of individual liberty is mention like fundamental right in Article 21- protection of life and personal liberty, article 19- Right to freedom etc. And courts are their to protect individual liberty.

The first and second aspect apply to Indian system but the third aspect of the diceys rule of law does not apply to Indian system as the source of right of individuals is the constitution of India. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and all laws passed by the legislature must be consistent with provisions of the constitution
The rule of law impose a duty upon state to take special measure to prevent and punish brutality by police methodology. The rule of law embodied in article 14 is the basic feature of the Indian constitution and hence it can’t be destroyed even by an amendment of the constitution under article 368 of the constitution.[5]

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE OF EQUALITY

Under Art. 359, when the proclamation of emergency is in operation, the enforcement of Art. 14 may be suspended during that period. Art. 361 provides that president and governors shall not be answerable to any Court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of the office. They also enjoy immunity from criminal and civil proceedings until certain conditions are fulfilled.
Members of Parliament and of State Legislature are not liable in respect of anything done or said within the House (Arts. 105 and 194). Foreign Diplomats are immune from the jurisdiction of Courts. Art. 31 C forms an exception by excluding some laws [for implementing any of the directive principles specified in Art. 39(b) or (c)] from the purview of Art. 14.

EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAWS

It is a guarantee of equal treatment. An equal law should be applied with an equal hand to all persons who are the equals. The rule is that the like should be treated alike and not that unlike should be treated alike. The same or uniform treatment of unequal’s is as bad as unequal treatment of equals. It has been said that the equal protection of the law is a pledge of protection or guarantee of equal laws.
The rule of law imposes a duty upon the state to take special measure to prevent and punish brutality by police methodology. The Rule of Law embodied in Article 14 is the ‘basic feature’ of the Indian Constitution and hence it cannot be destroyed even by an amendment of the Constitution under Article 368 of the Constitution.[6]

Article 14 Permits Classification But Prohibits Class Legislation

The equal protection of laws guaranteed by Article 14 does not mean that all laws must be general in character. It does not mean that the same laws should apply to all persons. It does not attainment or circumstances in the same position. The varying needs of different classes of persons often requires separate treatment. From the vary nature of society there should be different laws in different places and the legitimate controls the policy and enacts laws in the best interest of the safety and security of the state. In fact identical treatment in unequal circumstances would amount to inequality. So a reasonable classification is only not permitted but is necessary if society is to progress.

Thus what Article 14 forbids is class-legislation but it does not forbid reasonable classification. The classification however must not be “arbitrary ,artificial or evasive” but must be based on some real and substantial bearing a just and reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by the legislation. Article 14 applies where equals are treated differently without any reasonable basis. But where equals and unequal’s are treated differently, Article 14 does not apply. Class legislation is that which makes an improper discrimination by conferring particular privileges upon a class of persons arbitrarily selected from a large number of persons all of whom stand in the same relation to the privilege granted that between whom and the persons not so favoured no reasonable distinction or substantial difference can be found justifying the inclusion of one and the exclusion of the other from such privilege.[7]

TEST OF REASONABLE CLASSIFICATION

Article 14 forbids class legislation; it does not forbid reasonable classification of persons, objects, and transactions by the Legislature for the purpose of achieving specific ends. Classification to be reasonable should fulfil the following two tests:
1. It should not be arbitrary, artificial or evasive. It should be based on an intelligible differentia, some real and substantial distinction, which distinguishes persons or things grouped together in the class from another left out of it.
2. The differentia adopted as the basis of classification must have a rational or reasonable nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question.[8]
The true meaning and scope of the right to equality [Article 14 in India] have been explained in a number of cases by the Indian Supreme Court. The propositions laid down in Ram Krishna Dalmia v. Tendolkar (1958) case still hold good governing a valid classification and are as follows.

1. A law may be constitutional even though it relates to a single individual if on account of some special circumstances or reasons applicable to him and not applicable to others, that single individual may be treated as a class by itself.
2. There is always presumption in favour of the constitutionality of a statute and the burden is upon him who attacks it to show that there has been a clear transgression of constitutional principles.
3. The presumption may be rebutted in certain cases by showing that on the fact of the statue, there is no classification and no difference peculiar to any individual or class and not applicable to any other individual or class, and yet the law hits only a particular individual or class.
4. It must be assumed that Legislature correctly understands and appreciates the need of its own people that its law are directed to problem made manifest by experience and that its discrimination are based on adequate grounds.
5. In order to sustain the presumption of constitutionality the court may take into consideration maters of common knowledge, matters of report, the history of the times and may assume every state of facts which can be conceived existing at the time of the legislation.
6. Thus the legislation is free to recognize degrees of harm and may confine its restriction to those cases where the need is deemed to be the clearest.
7. While good faith and knowledge of the existing conditions on the part of a legislature are to be presumed, if there is nothing on the face of the law or the surrounding circumstances brought to the notice of the court on which the classification may reasonably be regarded as based, the presumption of constitutionality cannot be carried to the extent always that there must be some undisclosed and unknown reason for subjecting certain individuals or corporation to be hostile or discriminating legislation
8. The classification may be made on different bases e.g. geographical or according to object or occupation or the like.
9. The classification made by the legislature need not be scientifically perfect or logically complete. Mathematical nicety and perfect equality are not required.
Equality before the law does not require mathematical equality of all persons in all circumstances. Equal treatment does not mean identical treatment. Similarly not identity of treatment is enough.
10. There can be discrimination both in the substantive as well as the procedural law. Article 14 applies to both. If the classification satisfies the test laid down in the above propositions, the law will be declared constitutional. The question whether a classification is reasonable and proper and not must however, be judged more on common-sense than on legal subtitles.[9]
In State of West Bengal V. Anwar Ali Sarkar AIR 1952 SC 75, was involved a Bengal law permitting setting up of special courts for the ‘speedier trial’ of such ‘offence’, or ‘classes of offences’ or ‘cases’, or ‘classes of cases’, as the State Government might direct by a general or special order. These courts were to follow a procedure less advantageous to the accused in defending himself than the procedure followed by the ordinary criminal courts.

The Act was held invalid as it made no reasonable classification, laid down “no yardstick or measure for the grouping either of persons or of cases or of offenses” so as to distinguish them from others outside the purviews of the Act. The government had the power to pick out a case of a person and hand it over to the special tribunal while leaving the case of another person similarly situated to be tried by the ordinary criminal courts. It gave ‘uncontrolled authority’ to the executive ‘to discriminate’. The necessity of ‘speedier trial’ was held to be too vague, uncertain and indefinite criterion to form the basis of a valid and reasonable classification.[10]

In the case of R.K.Garg v. Union of India 1982 133 ITR 239 SC, the constitutional validity of Special Bearer Bonds (Immunities and Exception) Act, 1981 was under challenge. The legislation was enacted by the Indian Parliament, with the object of putting to productive use, the unaccounted money held by citizens. In furtherance of this, the Government, proposed to issue instruments called Special Bearer Bonds and provided incentives for people to invest in them. The controversial provisions of this legislation were section.3 and section.4, which provided that, any person who subscribes to these bonds will not be required to disclose the source of money for his investment in such bonds and he will not be interrogated or subjected to any investigation, or admissible as evidence in any inquiry or proceedings or levied any penalty on the basis of his investment. The Act was challenged inter alia on the ground that it made an unreasonable classification between persons who illegally evaded payment of tax as against those who abided by the law. It was argued that such a provision in the law was against morality as it afforded tax evaders, immunities and exemptions, and placed them at an advantageous position in comparison to those who abided by the law. Unfortunately, by a majority of four against one, the Bench brushed aside this contention, and held that morality was not an element to be considered while judging the constitutional validity of a statute.[11]

In Ashutosh Gupta v. State of Rajasthan, (2002) 4 SCC 34, accordingly, to apply the principle of equality in a practical manner, the courts have evolved the principle that if the law in question is based on rational classification, it is not regarded as discriminatory.[12]

In Re Special Courts Bill [1978(AIR 1979 SC 478)] , the Supreme Court has however warned against over-emphasis on classification. The Court has explained that ‘the doctrine of classification is only a subsidiary rule evolved by the courts to give practical content to the doctrine of equality, over-emphasis on the doctrine of classification or anxious or sustained attempt to discover some basis for classification may gradually and imperceptibly erode the profound potency of the glorious content of equity enshrined in Art. 14 of the Constitution. The over-emphasis of classification would inevitably result in the substitution of the doctrine of classification for the doctrine of equality.

If there are two laws covering a situation, one more drastic than the other, there is the danger of discrimination if the Administration has the discretion to apply any of these laws in a given case. Of the two persons placed in a similar situation, one may be dealt with under the drastic law and the other under the softer law. To minimize any chance of such discrimination, the court insists that the drastic law should lay down some rational and reasonable principle or policy to regulate administrative discretion as to its application. If the drastic law fails to do so, then it will be void under Art. 14.[13]

In Chiranjit Lal Chawdhary V. Union of India AIR 1950 SC 41, the petitioner approached the Supreme Court for the protection against the enforcement of a Central Act, the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1950. The petitioner was an ordinary shareholder of the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd. On Account of mismanagement and neglect of the affairs of the Company, a situation had arisen that brought about the closing down of the mill. The action of the company prejudicially affected the production of an essential commodity, apart from causing serious unemployment amongst certain sections of the community. 

The Central Government thereupon issued an Ordinance which was later replaced by the above-mentioned Act. By this Act, the management and administration of the assets of the Company were placed under the control of the directors appointed by the government. As regards the shareholders, the Act declared that they could neither appoint a new director not could they take proceedings for the winding up of the Company. The contention of the petitioner was that the impugned Act infringed the rule of equal protection of the laws embodied in Article 14 because a single company and its shareholders were being subjected to disabilities vis-à-vis other companies and held the legislation validly.[14]

Conclusion

What article 14 forbids is discrimination by law that is treating persons similarly circumstanced differently and treating those not similarly circumstanced in the same way or as has been pithily put treating equals as unequal’s and unequal’s as equals. Article 14 prohibits hostile classification by law and is directed against discriminatory class legislation. Article 14 contains a guarantee of equality before law to all persons and protection to them against discrimination by law. It forbids class legislation. 

References :

· Diva Rai, 'Reasonable Classification and its Validity Under Article 14’, https://blog.ipleaders.in/reasonable-classification-and-its-validity-under-article-14/amp/, accessed 14 April 2020
· Shiksha, ‘Reasonable Classification under article 14’, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1061/Reasonable-Classification-under-article-14.html, accessed 14 April 2020
· V. K. Sircar, ‘The old and New doctrines of equality : A critical study of Nexus tests and doctrine of Non- Arbitrariness', http://www.ebc-india.com/lawyer/articles/91v3a1.htm, accessed 15 April 2020
· Monika, ‘RIGHT TO EQUALITY UNDER ARTICLE 14 OF CONSTITUTION’, 05 March 2017, https://www.legalbites.in/law-notes-constitution-right-to-equality-under-article-14-of-constitution/ accessed 15 April 2020
· ‘Right to Equality – Doctrine of Reasonable Classification', https://tyrocity.com/topic/right-equality-doctrine-reasonable-classification/ accessed 15 April 2020
· ‘The Supreme Court of India – Morally Speaking the Moral Background’, 02-02-18, https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/constitutional-law/the-supreme-court-of-india-morally-law-essays.php accessed 15 April 2020
· ‘1st JAGANNATH MEMORIAL NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2019’, https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.legalbites.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JMNMCC04-A.pdf&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwjpq92Qi-roAhWBILcAHfWjDNg4FBAWMAB6BAgHEAE&usg=AOvVaw0DuVe9PYcbcsoHk9jll1Rz accessed 15 April 2020
[1] Diva Rai, 'Reasonable Classification and its Validity Under Article 14’, https://blog.ipleaders.in/reasonable-classification-and-its-validity-under-article-14/amp/, accessed 14 April 2020
[2] Shiksha, ‘Reasonable Classification under article 14’, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1061/Reasonable-Classification-under-article-14.html accessed 14 April 2020
[3] Supra note, 1
[4] V. K. Sircar, ‘The old and New doctrines of equality : A critical study of Nexus tests and doctrine of Non- Arbitrariness', http://www.ebc-india.com/lawyer/articles/91v3a1.htm, accessed 15 April 2020
[5] Supra note 2
[6] Monika, ‘RIGHT TO EQUALITY UNDER ARTICLE 14 OF CONSTITUTION', 05 March 2017, https://www.legalbites.in/law-notes-constitution-right-to-equality-under-article-14-of-constitution/ accessed 15 April 2020
[7] Supra note 2
[8] Supra note 6
[9] ‘Right to Equality – Doctrine of Reasonable Classification', https://tyrocity.com/topic/right-equality-doctrine-reasonable-classification/ accessed 15 April 2020
[10] Supra note 6.
[11] ‘The Supreme Court of India – Morally Speaking the Moral Background', 02-02-18, https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/constitutional-law/the-supreme-court-of-india-morally-law-essays.php accessed 15 April 2020
[12] ‘1st JAGANNATH MEMORIAL NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION, 2019’, https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.legalbites.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JMNMCC04-A.pdf&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwjpq92Qi-roAhWBILcAHfWjDNg4FBAWMAB6BAgHEAE&usg=AOvVaw0DuVe9PYcbcsoHk9jll1Rz accessed 15 April 2020
[13] Supra note 6
[14] Ibid.