Article 15(3) – Where it all began! | Shonee Kapoor
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Article 15(3) – Where it all began!



For an ordinary non-legal person, which most of men are prior to filing of dowry related cases against them, Articles 15(3) is the answer to their most basic yet generally misguided question. Clause 3 of Article 15 of the Constitution of India gives powers to the legislature to create special provisions for women and children. A bare act reading of A.15 (3) is “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children”. Yet this seeming harmless and overall benevolent is the cause of all the “women/wife” centric laws in India.  For understanding how laws are made, please read the article by the same name here, however how those laws are fueled is what you can understand by casual reading of the table below. This table is available at (Direct Link) and provides us information about the Budget outlays and actual expenditure for Ministry of Women & Child Development. Just in last 10 years, they have spent over 1 Lakh crores on various schemes and grants-in-aid. This has mostly been made possible because of that seeming “beneficial piece of legislation” mentioned above.



*upto 31.12.2014


For understanding how this piece of legislation is actually escapes the eyes of casual reader, it is important to understand the Article 14 and Article 15, which truly signify the principles of equality and prohibit discrimination. The text of both Articles is reproduced below:
Article 14: Equality before law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
A logical question which comes to the mind of a reader would be the inclusion of word “sex”.  So either this word should not be part of the equality or it should not be used to discriminate using Clause 3 of Article 15.

Clause 3 of Article 15 of the Constitution of India, has been widely resorted to and courts have upheld the validity of special measure in legislation or executive orders favoring women. In particular, provisions in the criminal law in favor of women or in the procedural law have been upheld by the court.

Though there have been discussions and court decisions in regards to the “creamy layer” to be taken out of the exceptions provided under Clause 4 of Article 15, no such opposition can be even thought of in the era of “Vote Bank” politics. The same politicians who had created a these so called beneficial legislations, have seen the most unprecedented scenes in Rajya Sabha, when members tried to attack Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman and disrupted tabling of the Bill. A senior member of a political party went on to say “Do you think these women with short hair can speak for women, for our women…”.  Though the representation of women is at 12% in Lok Sabha (People’s House)  and women reservation bill is blocked for nearly 20 years after it was introduced, the court had no hesitation in upholding reservation of seats for women in local bodies and education institutions {Dattatra v. State of Bombay, AIR 1953 Bom 311}. WHEREAS, In 24 state high courts, nine HCs do not have a single woman judge. Three High Courts have only one woman judge. There are 62 women judges compared to 611 male judges (in High Courts) in the entire country. The figures from Supreme Court of India are even more shocking, only six women judges on its august benches since its inception in 1950.

One thing the author would like to point is that as for the Judiciary, we are answered that there are not enough competent judges to be elevated. Can this situation be any different when it comes to representatives of people. Something which cannot be overlooked is that even in local bodies, though the reservation for women has meant that their husbands run day to day affairs from the background and the representative is a mere prop. The whole state has been run by a shadow chief minister and that speaks volumes about such so called call for reservation.

While the common man is facing the brunt of these gender-biased laws, the citadels of power are ensuring they keep themselves “above” by either doling out vast amount funds or declaring the validity of women centric laws and reservations.

If you have any query related to gender biased laws join SahodarWhatsapp Groups by sending Whatsapp message “Subscribe” to Sahodar Trust No. 9811850498


  1. Thomas Cherian February 11, 2017 Reply

    A real eye opener … very informative. Thank you.
    Thomas Cherian.

  2. Shivinder Pal February 10, 2017 Reply

    There is urgent need to abolish article 15(3) as it is discriminatory towards men

  3. Avinash February 9, 2017 Reply

    The worst victims of man-woman dispute are senior citizens and children. Parents lose their mental peace, physical comforts and financial security at the last leg of life thus putting to waste the lifetime effort for bringing up children thinking them as support for old age. Kids budding years are spent in negative atmosphere that marriage is a bad thing and they acquire negative mindset for whole life that family means quarrels.
    Cost of litigation by women is ultimately borne by men, so it is double jeopardy for men while women end up with best of everything without spending a penny from their pocket.

    Women demanding maintenance should be forced to do some work even if it is municipality workers to sweep streets, disaster workers in floods etc, shift duty as govt hospital nurses, primary schools and aangananwadi – this will put a check on legal terrorism.

    Right to residence should mean doing household jobs for man’s family by default. A provision of deemed divorce on man’s demand in case of any type of legal case or even a mere police complaint can make things less heavy in cases where woman is residing with in laws and harassing them.
    498 and DV should be against husband only – this will reduce men’s tension due to parents getting dragged in litigatiion. Men are punished for being a man and parents are punished for giving birth to a male child – in some years couples will start aborting male feotus to secure their old age. Who is responsible for “Man is a man until he gets a wife” – certainly the wife.

  4. Avinash February 8, 2017 Reply

    Article 15(3) empowers the State to make special provisions, but the question is “Can a provisions or law be made or imposed by judiciary for the so called protection or one group at the cost of another group, in other words – in such a way as to protect one so called oppressed or disadvantaged group – be it religious minority, weaker gender etc etc. but at the same time be a disadvantage to other groups”. All matrimonial laws are mainly benefitting women only if she is a daughter-in-law (bahu); what about protection of beti, saas etc.

    Therefore, 15(3) is not against Equality Before Law, but the manner in which special provisions are made go against men. Today a thought has started to arise that if we were to choose between two situations: One being a daughter in law harassed by the whole family and second one daughter in law harassing the whole family for money – of course scenario one is better option.

    Special provisions for women, if at all, should be the burden of the government. In disputes, whatever a woman loses is loss of one individual but what about the loss of in-law family – one individual’s loss has been protected but the loss of whole family in terms of social and emotional security, household help, progeny to carry family’s legacy, all these have been ignored.

    In foreign countries, if men are bankrupt and unable to provide support then they do not go to jail and there are government schemes not only for the estranged wife but also for the estranged men’s food etc.

    Let there be a provision that women can proceed against husband only and husband’s family cannot be touched by any matrimonial law and in case of provable misbehaviour, other family members will be tried as per normal criminal laws. And also that estranged women will ensure major household chorus for their husband and in-laws like on weekends they will wash clothes, in illness wife will do nursing, etc.

    Abolition of 15(3) seems next to impossible but above comments can be used for gender based quality with special provisions for women not a man’s burden. If a man has to take care of wife even after separation and divorce, then it means that wife is a property and loss to husband by losing this property should be compensated by the property herself.

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