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Beyond Reasonableness - A Rigorous Standard of Review for Article 15 Infringement

Journal of the Indian Law Institute, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 177-208, April-June 2008

32 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2008 Last revised: 30 Jan 2013

Tarunabh Khaitan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April - June 2008

Abstract

This article makes the case for applying a rigorous standard of review for constitutional adjudication under article 15 of the Indian constitution, which guarantees freedom from discrimination. Drawing upon the strict scrutiny jurisprudence in the United States and the proportionality jurisprudence in Europe, the article argues that a rigorous standard of judicial review in India can provide a more meaningful protection from discrimination. However, it warns against the wholesale importation of the United States jurisprudence and makes the case for excepting affirmative action measures from a rigorous standard of review. It also argues that the grounds on which discrimination is prohibited should be expandable rather than frozen. The discussion analyses two recent Supreme Court decisions on equality jurisprudence to further the argument - Anuj Garg v Hotel Association of India AIR 2008 SC 663, and Ashoka Kumar Thakur v Union of India 2008 (5) SCALE 1.

Keywords: equality, discrimination, standard of review, strict scrutiny, affirmative action, article 15, India, Anuj Garg, Ashoka Kumar Thakur, constitutional adjudication, proportionality, rigorous standard of review

Suggested Citation

Khaitan, Tarunabh, Beyond Reasonableness - A Rigorous Standard of Review for Article 15 Infringement (April - June 2008). Journal of the Indian Law Institute, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 177-208, April-June 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1246892

Tarunabh Khaitan (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
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