India - Constitution
Adopted on: 26 Jan 1950 (Document Status: Dec 1996)
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute
India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure
to all its citizens:
Article 15 Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race,
caste, sex or place of birth
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity
of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949,
do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
(1) 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 Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
(2) No citizen shall, on ground only of religion, race, caste, sex,
place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability,
restriction or condition with regard to -
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public
resort maintained whole or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the
use of general public.
(2) 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 of, any employment or office under
Article 23 Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
(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.
(1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms
of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision
shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
Article 25 Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation
(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory
service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall
not make any discrimination on ground only of religion, race, caste or
class or any of them.
(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the
other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom
of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.
Article 26 Freedom to manage religious affairs
(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing
law or prevent the State from making any law -
(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or
other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of
Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections
Explanation I: The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed
to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.
Explanation II: In sub-Clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus
shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh,
Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions
shall be construed accordingly.
Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious
denomination or any section thereof shall have the right -
Article 27 Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular
(a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable
(b) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;
(c) to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and
(d) to administer such property in accordance with law.
No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds
of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion
or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.
Article 28 Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious
worship in certain educational institutions
(1) No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational
institution wholly maintained out of State funds.
Article 29 Protection of interests of minorities
(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution
which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment
or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in
(3) No person attending any educational institution recognised by the
State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part
in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or
to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution
or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person
is minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.
(2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational
institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds
on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
Article 30 Right of minorities to establish and administer educational
(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language,
shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions
of their choice.
Article 51A Fundamental duties
(1A) In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of
any property of an educational institution established and administered
by a minority, referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the
amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such
property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed
under that clause.
(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions,
discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it
is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India -
Note: Further information on the constitutional
background of India is provided by the International Constitutional
Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg.
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst
all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional
or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity