DETAILED ANALYSIS ON ARTICLE -16 (Equality of opportunity in matters of public )

    INTRODUCTION:- Right to Equality is one of the basic fundamental rights that the constitution of India guarantees to all the citizens of the country. Apart from prohibition of discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, color, religion,sex Constitution has also introduced Article 16 which deals with the equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Equal opportunity is a term which has differing definitions and there is no consensus as to the precise meaning. The Constitution of India has given a wide interpretation of this article.

    Article 16 gives equal opportunity to every section of society there will be no discrimination.Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) principles apply to: •Access to jobs

    •Conditions of employment

    •Relationships in the workplace

    •The evaluation of performance and

    •The opportunity for training and career development.

    BACKGROUND :- All citizens can apply for government jobs, however, there are some exceptions. The Parliament may enact a law stating that certain jobs can be filled only by applicants who are domiciled in the area. This may be meant for posts that require knowledge of the locality and language of the area. The State may also reserve posts for members of backward classes, scheduled castes or scheduled tribes which are not adequately represented in the services under the State to bring up the weaker sections of the society. Also, laws may be passed that require the holder of an office of any religious institution to also be a person professing that particular religion. According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2003, this right shall not be conferred to Overseas citizens of India.

    BARE ACT INTERPRETATION:– Article 16 in The Constitution Of India 1949

    16. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State

    (2)

    (3) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State

    (4)

    (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment (5) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State

    (6)

    (5) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination

    ILLUSTRATION:- The Article guarantees equality of opportunity when it comes to public employment. The first two clauses of the Article elucidate the fact that no citizens of India shall face discrimination in respect of employment. These two clauses lay the foundation for equal employment opportunity and eliminate compartmentalization in the name of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any other.

    As one of the important constitutional provisions for deprived sections, Article 16 gives Parliament the power to make any law prescribing the requirements “for a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Central Government or any local authority.” Clause 4 of the Article acts as a guideline for the government for making any provision for the reservation of appointments in favour of any backward class of citizens who are “not adequately represented in the services under the State”. Like Article 14, 15 and 17, this article and its provisions indicate the government’s commitment to protect the interests of the SCs and STs.

    CONCLUSION:- The slogan “equality of opportunity” commands wide allegiance among the members of contemporary societies. Under scrutiny, equality of opportunity divides into several different ideals, some of them being opposed rivals. It is controversial which of these ideals, if any, are morally acceptable, and which, if any, should be coercively enforced The ideal of a society in which people do not suffer disadvantage from discrimination on grounds of supposed race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation is widely upheld as desirable in itself. The framers of the Constitution aimed to achieve a society where all citizens are treated equally. The Courts have given various interpretations through the judgements so as to achieve the aim of equality which the framers of the Indian Constitution intended.

    NAME : BARKHA JAIN

    COURSE : BA.LLB HONOURS

    COLLEGE – MDU -CPAS, GURUGRAM