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    which of the following fundamental rights under part iii of the indian constitution protects against untouchability as a form of discrimination?


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    [Solved] Which one of the following categories of Fundamental Rights

    The Correct Answer is Right to Equality.  Key Points Right to equality mentioned under Article 14-18 of the Indian Constitution. Article 15 relat

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    Which one of the following categories of Fundamental Rights incorporates protection against untouchability as a form of discrimination?

    This question was previously asked in

    Official UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020 Prelims Part A

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    Right against Exploitation

    Right to Freedom

    Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

    Right to Equality

    Answer (Detailed Solution Below)

    Option 4 : Right to Equality

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    Detailed Solution

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    The Correct Answer is Right to Equality.

    Key PointsRight to equality mentioned under Article 14-18 of the Indian Constitution.

    Article 15 relates to the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

    Article 16 guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

    Article 17 abolishes untouchability. Hence Option 4 is Correct.

    Article 18 abolishes the title.

    Important PointsPart 3 of the Constitution deals with Fundamental Rights.

    The Constitution guarantees six fundamental rights to Indian citizens as follows

    (i) right to equality,

    (ii) right to freedom

    (iii) right against exploitation

    (iv) right to freedom of religion

    (v) cultural and educational rights

    (vi) right to constitutional remedies

    Additional Information

    The Right to freedom is stipulated under Articles 19-22.

    Article 19 of the Constitution provides for the six freedoms

    Freedom of speech and expression

    Freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms

    Freedom to form Associations and Union

    Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India

    Freedom to reside and settle in any part of India

    Freedom to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business

    Article 20 of the Constitution provides for the protection in respect of conviction for offences.Article 21 Provides for Protection of life and personal liberty.Article 22 deals with Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.Article 32 deals with Right to Constitutional Remedies.The right against exploitation, given in Articles 23 and 24.

    It provides for the abolition of trafficking in human beings and Begar (forced labour), and the abolition of employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories, mines, etc.

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    Article 17 of the Constitution

    Article 17 of the Constitution

    Home     Articles      Article 17 of the Constitution

    Article 17 of the Constitution

    May 3, 2018


    Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.


    Untouchability is neither defined in the Constitution nor in the Act. It refers to a social practice which looks down upon certain depressed classes solely on account of their birth and makes any discrimination against them on this ground. Their physical touch was considered to pollute others. Such castes which were called untouchables were not to draw water from the same wells, or use the pond/tank which is being used by the higher castes. They were not allowed to enter some temples and suffered many other disabilities.

    Inclusion of this provision in the Constitution shows the importance attached by the Constituent Assembly towards eradication of this evil practice. Article 17 is also a significant provision from the point of view of equality before law (Article 14). It guarantees social justice and dignity of man, the twin privileges which were denied to a vast section of the Indian society for centuries together.

    This right is directed against private persons. The nature of untouchability is such that it is not possible to conceive where the State may practice untouchability. In People’s Union for Democratic Rights v UOI, the Supreme Court held that whenever a fundamental right contained in Arts. 17, 23 or 24 was being violated by a private individual, it would be the constitutional obligation of the State to take necessary steps to interdict such violation and ensure that such person should respect the right. Merely because the aggrieved person could himself protect or enforce his invaded fundamental rights, did not absolve the State from its constitutional obligations.

    Article 35 read with Article 17 confer on the Parliament power to make laws prescribing punishment for practicing untouchability. The Parliament enacted the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955. In 1976, it was made more stringent and was renamed ‘The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955. It defines ‘Civil Right’ as ‘any right accruing to a person by reason of the abolition of untouchability by Article 17 of the Constitution.’ All offences under the Act have been made non-compoundable. The Act prescribes punishment (1-2 years imprisonment) for preventing any person from entering any place of public worship or from worshipping or denying access to any shop, public restaurants, hotels or places of public entertainment or refusing to admit persons to hospitals and refusing to sell goods or render services to any person. Also, insulting a member of Scheduled Caste on the ground of untouchability or preaching untouchability or justifying it on historical, philosophical, religious or other grounds is a crime.

    To prevent the commission of offences or atrocities against the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Parliament also enacted the ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.’ The Act provides for special courts for the trial of offences under the Act and for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offences. Atrocities committed against a Hindu SC or ST, who had converted to another religion, can be prosecuted under the Act, if the victim is still suffering from social disability. In State of Karnataka v Appa Balu Ingale, the Supreme Court expressing its concern on the continuance of the practice of untouchability, held that it was an indirect form of slavery and only extension of caste system.


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    Right to Equality [Article 14 to 18]

    The right to equality provides for the equal treatment of everyone before the law, prevents discrimination on various grounds, treats everybody as equals in matters of public employment, and abolishes untouchability, and titles (such as Sir, Rai Bahadur, etc.). It is an important part of Fundamental Rights, Articles 14 - 18. Equality before the law, the prohibition of discrimination, equality in matters of public employment. Clear IAS 2022 with BYJU'S IAS

    The right to equality provides for the equal treatment of everyone before the law, prevents discrimination on various grounds, treats everybody as equals in matters of public employment, and abolishes untouchability, and titles (such as Sir, Rai Bahadur, etc.).

    In this article, you can read all about the Right to Equality and the related constitutional provisions from the IAS exam point of view. For more on Fundamental Rights, click on the linked article.

    Aspirants preparing for the upcoming CSE exam must refer to the details discussed further below in this article, important from the IAS exam perspective.

    Right to Equality


    Before knowing about the right to equality, aspirants should know the types of equality to get an idea of what it is. It is also mentioned in our Preamble. The types of  equality are:

    Natural Social Civil Political Economic Legal

    The Right to Equality is one of the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. It is very important to understand what this right entails and includes. This topic is a basic topic in the polity and constitution segments of the UPSC Syllabus for the civil services exam.

    Below we provide the associated articles of the Constitution under the right to equality.

    Right to EqualityArticle  Brief description 

    Article 14 The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India, on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

    Article 15 The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

    Article 16 There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

    Article 17 Abolition of untouchability

    Article 18 Abolition of all titles except military and academic

    Equality before the law (Article 14)

    Article 14 treats all people the same in the eyes of the law.

    This provision states that all citizens will be treated equally before the law.

    The law of the country protects everybody equally.

    Under the same circumstances, the law will treat people in the same manner.

    Prohibition of discrimination (Article 15)

    This article prohibits discrimination in any manner.

    No citizen shall, on grounds only of race, religion, caste, place of birth, sex or any of them, be subject to any liability, disability, restriction or condition with respect to:

    Access to public places

    Use of tanks, wells, ghats, etc. that are maintained by the State or that are meant for the general public

    The article also mentions that special provision can be made for women, children and the backward classes notwithstanding this article.

    Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16)

    Article 16 provides equal employment opportunities in State service for all citizens.

    No citizen shall be discriminated against in matters of public employment or appointment on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex, place of birth, descent or residence.

    Exceptions to this can be made for providing special provisions for the backward classes.

    Abolition of untouchability (Article 17)

    Article 17 prohibits the practice of untouchability.

    Untouchability is abolished in all forms.

    Any disability arising out of untouchability is made an offence.

    Abolition of titles (Article 18)

    Article 18 abolishes titles.

    The State shall not confer any titles except those which are academic or military titles.

    The article also prohibits citizens of India from accepting any titles from a foreign State.

    The article abolishes the titles that were awarded by the British Empire such as Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, etc.

    Awards like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna and military honours like Ashok Chakra, Param Vir Chakra do not belong to this category.

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    Right to Equality – Indian Polity:-Download PDF Here

    UPSC Questions related to Right to Equality

    Is equality a basic human right?

    The right to equality and non-discrimination is a fundamental component of international human rights law.

    What are the exceptions to the right of equality of opportunity in matters of public employment?

    Under Article 16, exceptions to the right of equality of opportunity in matters of public employment are provided for to protect the interests of the weaker and vulnerable sections of society such as women, children, the backward classes (SC/ST) and minorities. The Parliament may also pass a law to the effect that a certain post be filled only by people residing in a certain area, to fulfil the conditions of the post that warrants the knowledge of the locality and the local language. The article also mentions that there can be a law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination.

    स्रोत : byjus.com

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