The Revival of Ray LXXXIX

Manish Kumar v. Union of India, (2021) 5 SCC 1 has exhaustively referred to case law, on reasonable classification under Article 14, to observe, Article 14 frowns upon what constitutes hostile discrimination but does not bar classification which is reasonable. To answer whether a classification is reasonable, one must look beyond the classification to the purpose of law; the purpose of law may be either elimination of public mischief or achievement of some positive public good. Reference in this regard was made to State of Gujarat v. Shri Ambica Mills Ltd., (1974) 4 SCC 656 which elucidates and explains distinction between under-inclusive and over-inclusive classifications.

It is impossible to tell how successful a particular approach may be, what dislocations might occur, what evasions might develop, and what new evils might be generated. State of J&K v. Shri Triloki Nath Khosa, (1974) 1 SCC 19 has held, there is always a presumption in favour of constitutionality of an enactment and burden is to show, there has been a clear transgression of constitutional principles. A provision cannot be struck down as discriminatory on any a priori reasoning.

Hon’ble Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Parivar Seva Sanstha v. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, [Civil Appeal No. 2773 of 2012].