Private discrimination, public service and the constitution

July 16, 2021 | Thulasi K. Raj

In this article published by Indian Law Review, Thulasi K Raj argues for a renewed interpretation of Article 15(2) in the light of the Supreme Court judgment in IMA case.

 

Abstract:

 

This paper enquires into the scope of protection against private discrimination under the Indian Constitution. I study three arguments on how to interpret Article 15(2). I consider the plain linguistic argument and reject it, since it has been abandoned by the Supreme Court to interpret provisions on discrimination. I then apply the “public actor” principle to Article 15(2) and argue that it is vulnerable to objections. Thirdly, I consider the “economic goods” principle by Gautam Bhatia and argue that it too is unsuitable. I then develop my positive proposal of “public service” introduced by the Supreme Court in the IMA case and discuss its components. For a service to qualify as public service, it must both be vital to social life and capable of securing dignity to the individual. I argue that this is the best interpretation of Article 15(2) and deserves to be treated as such.

Cite:

Thulasi K. Raj, 'Private discrimination, public service and the constitution' (Indian Law Review , 16 Jul 2021) <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/24730580.2021.1950338> accessed on 23 Oct 2021