ANALYSIS OF RIGHT TO EQUALITY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution is the one of the most ideal pillars of virtue that any society would want to achieve. Other words which define this article are righteousness, unbiased, just, fair and no discrimination. This article is the touch stone of every pursuit of life and applies squarely on common citizen as well as the people running the governance of the nation. We are in seventy fifth year of independence so we need to evaluate whether we are able to be bring reality to the letter and spirit of article 14 which promises everyone right to equality.


WHAT IS EQUALITY?

While many think equality is serving all with same standards. But serving all on the same yardstick is actual inequality. Equality means providing all with level playing field so that each is able to compete. When we evaluate we must keep in mind that every nation has its own pace but the pace must not be so sluggish that the nation loses many gems to its own detriment.

Let us discuss some issues which are pinching the nation’s sheen of equality and need an immediate discussion and action for cure:


RESERVATION

The tool of public welfare which now is a form of reverse discrimination is a just a political drum to lure and fool many. Reservation was suppose to be an enabler but it has just given rise to question of discrimination and the apex court is full of questions that deal with odd questions related to reservation. The recent case being Neil Aurelio Nunes & Ors. ....Petitioners Versus Union Of India & Ors.[1] whereby entry to post graduate medical courses were halted because the court could was to take the decision on question whether newly announced reservation quota are constitutional or not. Reservation surely is not able to solve many of the objects it aimed for so there is an need for evaluation. Also the case of Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Versus The Chief Minister & Ors[2] we saw how governments baselessly attempt to use reservations bait for election.


GENDER BIASED LAWS

Our country has decriminalised same sex but yet not considered them as human beings who would like to have a rights like many others in the world i.e property, family, inheritance,children, not being part of text books which present complete picture of human body and types of gender. Not recognising the voice of the inadequately represented proportion of the population is inequality.

Another gender associated discrimination is that many laws which have a nexus with respect and dignity of a person (physical or mental) are only thought from a lens of a women which is disturbing because males are so burdened with a taboo of being so strong that their screams are not even heard by they themselves. The society has become deaf and dumb by this indifference in way of thinking and is not allowing many to complaint. We need to amend many laws like when we talk of rape lets accept that this can happen to male as well and a women can commit such crime as well. Laws should punish crime not gender.


TREATMENT ON BASIS OF RANK

The latest example of Tennis player Novak Djokovic who by passed the laws of nation along with authorities involvement to play a championship game without having any respect for the health of people. In an era when people are sacrificing their comfort for the sake of health of nation we find the biggies breaking norms. This is evident of the fact that your name gives you permission to break rules. The court in this case[3] cancelled the sportperson’s visa and set a good example that one who are heroes in eyes’ of masses they have biggest responsibility and rules are same for everyone we need such examples in every nation and specially in India where cult worship is rage.

The example of Ex chief justice Ranjan Gogoi becoming judge in his case whereby allegation of sexual assault were made against him also is a case of such discriminationIn Re :Matter Of Great Public Importance Touching Upon The independence Of Judiciary. This case started in april 2019 suo moto and ended in feb 2021 after obtaining the enquiry reports which did not enquired the merits of the case and but still courts found a conspiracy because electronic evidence could not be retrieved after two years (a reasoning that has no merit).

In this raging time of election campaigns the caller tune of every mobile phone warns of wearing mask and social distancing but the leaders of political parties are immuned and so are their party workers. We also during last few months saw that how only with the interference of supreme court can one ensure that someone having strong political connections will follow law of land even in criminal litigations. The case is In Re: Violence In Lakhimpur Kheri (u.p.) Leading To Loss Of Life[4] the Supreme court had to ensure fairness in trial and Uttar Pradesh has a history where courts in Allahabad judicature cannot operate fairly (cases which involve political people) unless the case is transferred to Delhi by the apex court.


SPECIALLY ABLED PERSON

We celebrate specific days for our specially abled freinds but apart from photo operation there is less done than said. Research and development that even happens does not gets market and recognition. While everything is going online but little is being done to ensure that people with special needs also are supplied with tools (software/ physical apparatus) to fight their odds. Specially abled have a challenging time during pandemic and their struggles are double. Their is least concern that how the people with hearing deficiency will listen to the teachers online, or how will people with seeing deficiency watch the online video and obtain their education or how will people who need special experts assistance cope up with their life and education? Its not sympathy that is needed it is infrastructure that is the need of the hour. Right to effective education is right of specially abled person as well.

Solution: Research and development and creating tools targeting special needs and dissemination of these tools in a cost effective manner so that not only people enhance their life but also people are rewarded for creation of such tools.


JUSTICE TO ALL

Justice is seeked by those who understand that something wrong is happening and with a concsiousness that ”I HAVE A RIGHT”. But even today the dissemination of legal education is zero and most importantly the means to achieve justice is at all not cheap and convenient. The involvement of litigators makes things very ugly as they make the case of a mouse for a lion and nothing remains to be reconciled. Also the court are not having adequate personnel and their is dearth of professionalism. Courts have to function according to need of people. Their needs to be a change in environment of court like for the kids, women, elderly, specially abled people and people’s level of literacy. A system whereby generations don’t pass to obtain a decree from court is needed. Today many don’t go to court and instead prefer to suffer the wrong because court procedures are traumatising. It is discriminating because justice should reach people it should not be vice versa.


CONCLUSION

This topic has been discussed by jurists and illuminators at different point of time at length but the problem finds a new face with the society evolving every day. This brings home the fact that equality is dynamic and live virtue and that there is no thumb rule other than being fair. Whenever a problem is being tried to be solved through a new law, some points like why are we wasting time on a miniscule number of cases/ population, but we must remember majority is least concerned about minority, because they are not affected. The minority has to struggle to even make their voices heard. This country has a cult praising problem and still law is not above the person. The to do list for the country its citizen and governance are many and some have a nexus with societal thinking the following is just tip of the iceberg of problem of inequality in our society:

1. Why public transports don’t have women drivers?

2. Why army does not allows transgenders and women in combat area?

3. Why parliament is not representative of women legislatures?

4. Why the country has yet not got its any first female Chief Justice of India?

These questions are still being asked is a shame. Yes our constitution is one of the most progessive one in the sense that when our constituent assembly drafted the constitution it gave universal adult sufferage while many developed nations gave these rights after years of revolution by women, by blacks of the land. But this is reason that we should endeavour more because its never enough we have to become our best version each day as nation.

[1] Writ Petition (c) No 961 Of 2021 [2] Civil Appeal No.3123 Of 2020 [3] Federal Court Of Australia Djokovic v Minister For Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services And Multicultural Affairs [2022] Fcafc 3 [4] Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 426 of 2021



This article is written by POONAM MAURYA of Amity University.

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