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

 

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds 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 entertainment; or

     (b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.

 

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

 

(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

 

(5) Nothing in this article or in sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30.

 

(6) Nothing in this article or sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 or clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making,—

     (a) any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clauses (4) and (5); and

     (b) any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clauses (4) and (5) in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30, which in the case of reservation would be in addition to the existing reservations and subject to a maximum of ten per cent. of the total seats in each category.

     Explanation.—For the purposes of this article and article 16, "economically weaker sections" shall be such as may be notified by the State from time to time on the basis of family income and other indicators of economic disadvantage.

Debate Summary

Article 9, Draft Constitution, 1948

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them. In particular, no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex 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 entertainment, or

(b) The use of wells, tanks 3, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of the revenues of the State or dedicated to the use of the general public.

(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

 

Draft Article 9 (Article 15) was debated on the 29th of November 1948. It prohibited discrimination on five grounds: religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

 

Some members argued that the Draft Article did not engage with discrimination based on family and descent. Others wanted a specific mention of gardens, roads and tramways as potential public spaces where people should not face discrimination. In response to these points, it was clarified that while the Draft Article specifically mentions some spaces, the general nature of the language used in the Article was sufficient to cover a wide range of public spaces including those that were not specified in the Article’s text.

 

There was a proposal to add a similar clause for Scheduled Castes and Tribes as well. This was not adopted – it was argued that this approach would perpetuate the segregation of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

 

The Draft Article was adopted with some amendments on 29th November 1948.