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Part VII Rights—Substance and Content, Ch.39 Equality: legislative review under Article 14

Tarunabh Khaitan

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 September 2023

This chapter examines the grounds of legislative review under the general constitutional guarantee of the right to equality as embodied in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. It first provides an overview of the traditional narrative on the transformation of Article 14, before turning to a discussion of two doctrines that have evolved to test the constitutionality of a measure when faced with an Article 14 challenge: the ‘classification test’ or the ‘old doctrine’ (‘unreasonable comparison’) and the ‘arbitrariness test’ or the ‘new doctrine’ (‘non-comparative unreasonableness’). It examines differences between the nature and application of these two tests, and current shortcomings within India’s equality framework.

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