The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Debate Summary

Article 14 of the Constitution of India was not in the Draft Constitution presented to the Constituent Assembly on its own. It was part of Article 15 of the Draft Constitution. Article 15 of the Draft Constitution read: ‘Protection of life and liberty and equality before law - No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except according to procedure established by law, nor shall any person be denied equality before the law or the equal protection of the law within the territory of India.’ Article 15 of the Draft Constitution was taken for discussion on 6th and 13th of December 1948. The discussions that took place on these two days revolved around the first part of the Article 15, whereas the second part was not discussed at all. In revised Draft Constitution, Article 15 of the Draft Constitution is split into two parts, with the second part inserted into the revised constitution as Article 14. In its letter to the President of the Constituent Assembly dated 3rd November 1949 presenting its revised Draft Constitution, the Drafting Committee mention that – ‘We have considered it more appropriate to split this article into two parts and to transfer the latter part of this article dealing with “equality before law” to a new article 14 under the heading “Right to Equality”’. And thus, Article 14 is introduced into the Constitution of India.