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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the grounds of legislative review under the general constitutional guarantee of the right to equality as embodied in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. It first provides an overview of the traditional narrative on the transformation of Article 14, before turning to a discussion of two doctrines that have evolved to test the constitutionality of a measure when faced with an Article 14 challenge: the ‘classification test’ or the ‘old doctrine’ (‘unreasonable comparison’) and the ‘arbitrariness test’ or the ‘new doctrine’ (‘non-comparative unreasonableness’). It examines differences between the nature and application of these two tests, and current shortcomings within India’s equality framework.

Keywords: arbitrariness test, classification test, constitutionality, Indian Constitution, legislative review, non-comparative unreasonableness, right to equality, rule of law, unreasonable comparison

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