The doctrine of reasonable classification, as derived from Article 14 of the Constitution of India, allows for discrimination based on rational and logical grounds. It permits the classification of different sections of people on valid reasons such as caste, sex, creed, race, gender, religion, place of birth, and more. This doctrine ensures that discrimination is reasonable and justifiable, allowing for distinct treatment among individuals or groups based on intelligible differences.

This provision embodies two fundamental principles: equality before the law and equal protection of the law. Previously, the constitutionality of laws was assessed through the reasonable classification test. This test examined whether there was a valid and rational basis for classifying individuals or groups differently under the legislation. Such classification needed to meet specific criteria to be considered constitutional, ensuring fairness and justice in the application of laws. I

Ram Krishna Dalmia v. Justice S.R. Tendolkar, AIR 1958, The Supreme Court affirmed that Article 14 prohibits legislation that discriminates against specific classes but allows for reasonable classification for legislative purposes. It condemns discrimination in both substantive and procedural laws.


Eshwar S, 5th year B.A, LL. B(Hons.), Veltech School of Law, Chennai.


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