The Indian Constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950. It includes various Articles that serve as a guiding light for the State and its citizens. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution has been added to stop the heinous practice of discrimination based on irrational reasons. The article prohibits discrimination on the grounds of a person’s caste race, religion, sex or place of birth. Article 15 has been divided into 5 sub articles.
Here is a look at the various sub-articles of Article 15:
Article 15 (1)
The State cannot discriminate against any citizen only on the basis of their race, religion, sex, caste or place or birth.
Article 15 (2)
The citizens of India are also prohibited from making any discrimination against other citizens only on the basis of their race, religion, sex, caste or place or birth. On the basis of these grounds, no citizen shall be subject to any restriction or condition with regard to:
Access to malls, shops, hotels, public restaurants and other places of public entertainment.
Use of tanks, wells, bathing ghats, roads and other places of public resort built and maintained partly or wholly by State funds.
Article 15 (3)
The State has the right to make special provisions for women and children. Nothing in this article stops the State from doing so.
Article 15 (4)
The State has the right to make special provisions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward classes. This article does not bar the State from making such provisions.
Article 15 (5)
This sub article was added later. It was a result of an amendment made in the article in the year 2018. It was after the government declared 10% reservation for the socially and economically weaker sections of the society in colleges and universities.
As per this clause, nothing in this article can bar the State from making special provisions pertaining to admission in educational institutions (be it private, government or government aided) for the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes.
Article 15 of the Indian Constitution has very clearly mentioned that discrimination based on caste, race, religion, sex or place of birth shall not be tolerated. However, favourable discrimination based on certain other aspects can be done for the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. The state as well as the citizens of India must adhere to the instructions shared in Article 15. Failing to do so can result in strict action against them.