Sie sind auf Seite 1von 33

Page | 1



Prof. Zain Saleh

Submitted by:

Page | 2

I have taken efforts in this project. However it wouldn't have been possible without
the kind support and help of many individuals. I would like to extend my sincere
thanks to all of them.
I am highly indebted to Prof. Zain Saleh for his guidance and constant supervision
as well as for providing necessary information regarding the project.
I would like to express my special gratitude and thanks to my friends for giving me
such attention and time and helping me in developing the project and people who
have willingly helped me out with their abilities.

Page | 3

Table of contents
Objectives of the study
Significance of the study
Case summary
Scope of the study
Research methodology
Concept of equal protection of laws


under Indian Constitution

Evolution and application of doctrine of 12-18


reasonable 19-23
reasonable 23-26
Table of contents

Page | 4


The purpose of the study to :

Derive out the grounds on which the legislative action and executive order can be struck

down as violative of Art. 14.

Understanding the necessity of interpreting the doctrine of reasonable classification

under Art. 14.

To enhance the understanding of the doctrine of reasonable classification and its latest

This research would enable the student to avail a better understanding of the validity of
discriminatory/ classificatory legislative and executive actions, and the doctrine of reasonable
classification which purports to uphold/invalidate such actions.


Equivalent citations: 1952 AIR 75, 1952 SCR 284

Bench: Sastri, M. Patanjali (Cj), Fazal Ali, Saiyid, Mahajan, Mehr Chand, Mukherjea, B.K., Das,
S.R. & Aiyar, N.C. & Bose, Vivian.
Legislations involved: West Bengal Special Courts Act (X of 1950). Constitution of India,
Cases Referred by the bench:

(a) Case:

Facts of the case:

This is an appeal by the State of West Bengal from a judgment of a Full Bench of the High Court
of Judicature at Calcutta quashing the conviction of the respondent by the Special Court

Page | 5

established under section 3 of the West Bengal Special Courts Ordinance, 1949, (Ordinance No.
3 of 1949) which was replaced in March, 1950, by the West Bengal Special Courts Act, 1950,
(West Bengal Act X of 1950) (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). The respondent and 49 other
persons were charged with various offences alleged to have been committed by them in the
course of their raid as an armed gang on a certain factory known as the Jessop Factory at Dum
Dum, and they were convicted and sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment by the Special
Court to which the case was sent for trial by the Governor of West Bengal by a notification dated
26th January, 1950, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 (1) of the Act. Thereupon
the respondent applied to the High Court under article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of a
writ of certiorari quashing the conviction and sentence on the ground that the Special Court had
no jurisdiction to try the case inasmuch as section 5 (1), under which it was sent to that Court for
trial, was unconstitutional and void under article 13 (2) as it denied to the respondent the equal
protection of the laws enjoined by article 14. The High Court by a Full Bench consisting of the
Chief Justice and four other Judges quashed the conviction and directed the trial of the
respondent and the other accused persons according to law. Hence the appeal.

Analysis of the act in Question:

The Act is instituted as "An Act to provide for the speedier trial of certain offences ", and the
preamble declares that "it is expedient to provide for the speedier trial of certain offences ".
Section 3 empowers the State Government by notification in the official gazette to constitute
Special Courts, and section 4 provides for the appointment of special judges to preside over such
courts. Section 5, whose constitutionality is impugned, runs thus: "5(1) A Special Court shall try
such offences or classes of cases, as the classes of offences or cases State Government may by
general or special order in writing, direct. (2) No direction shall be made under sub-section (1)
for the trial of an offence for which an accused person was being tried at the commencement of
this Act before any court but, save as aforesaid, such direction may be made in respect of an
offence, whether such' offence was committed before or after the commencement of this Act."
Sections 6 to 15 prescribe the special procedure which the court has to follow in the trial of the
cases referred to it. The main features of such procedure which mark a departure from the
established procedure for criminal trials under the Code of Criminal Procedure are the
elimination of the committal procedure in sessions cases and the substitution of the procedure
laid down in the Code for trial of warrant cases by the Magistrate, trial without jury or assessors,
restriction of the court's power in granting adjournments, special powers to deal with refractory
accused and dispensation of de novo trial on transfer of a case from one special court to that

Counsels representing:

Jitendra Nath Ghose (R. P. Bagchi, with him) for the respondent.
A.A. Peerbhoy and J.B. Dadachanji for Habib Mohammad (Intervener).

Page | 6

V. Rajaram Iyer, Advocate-General of Hyderabad (R. Ganapathy Iyer, with him) for the
State of Hyderabad.
A.R. Sornanatha Iyer, Advocate-General of Mysore (K. Ramaseshayya Choudhry, with
him) for the State of Mysore.
B. Sen, for the appella

Arguments raised:
(A) Petitioner:
(B) Respondent:

Ratio of the High Court:

1. In the original case to which appeal has been filed Harries C.J. delivered the leading
judgment , to which Das and Banerjee JJ. Concurred: applied the test of what may be
called "reasonable classification" and held that, although the need for a speedier trial than
what is possible under the procedure prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure might
form the basis of a reasonable classification, the provision was discriminatory and
violative of article 14 of the Constitution in so far as it purported to vest in the State
Government an absolute and arbitrary power to refer to a special court for trial "any cases
", which must include an individual case, "whether the duration of such a case is likely to
be long or not ". The learned Chief Justice rejected the argument that the word "cases" in
the sub-section should, in view of the title and preamble of the Act be construed as
meaning cases requiring speedier trial." He found it" impossible to cut down the plain
meaning of the word 'cases' as used in the section". He realised that "the powers under the
sub-section could be so exercised as not to involve discrimination, but they also could, in
his view, be exercised in a manner involving discrimination. He observed that When an
Act gives power which may and can offend against a provision or provisions of the
Constitution such an Act is ultra vires though it could be administered so as not to offend
against the Constitution. and held that section 5 (1) was unconstitutional in its entirety
inasmuch as "the classification sought to be made on the expediency of speedier trial is
not a well-defined classification. It is too indefinite and there can hardly be any definite
objective test to determine it."

Ratios of the Supreme court:

1) PATANJALI SASTRI C.J who delivered the majority judgment in the present appeal
observed as follows:

Page | 7

Before considering whether section 5(1) infringes, to any and what extent, the constitutional
prohibition under article 14, it is necessary to ascertain the true scope and intendment of the
impugned provision. The discretion vested in the State Government in selecting cases for
reference to a special court may not be subject to judicial review and may, in that sense, be
absolute, but that is very different from saying that it was intended to be arbitrary. Its exercise
must involve bona fide consideration of special features or circumstances which call for a
comparatively prompt disposal of the case or cases proposed to be referred. It follows that in
adjudging a given law as discriminatory and unconstitutional two aspects have to be considered.
First, it has to be seen whether it ob- serves equality between all the persons on whom it is to
operate. An affirmative finding on the point may not, however, be decisive of the issue. If the
impugned legislation is a special law applicable only to a certain class of persons, the court must
further enquire whether the classification is founded on a reasonable basis having regard to the
object to be attained, or is arbitrary. Thus, the reasonableness of classification comes into
question only in those cases where special legislation affecting a class of persons is challenged as
discriminatory. But there are other types of legislation such as, for instance, the Land Acquisition
Act, which do not rest on classification, and no question of reasonable classification could fairly
arise in respect of such enactments. In the light of the foregoing discussion, it seems to me
difficult to hold that section 5 (1) in whole or in part is discriminatory. It does not, either in terms
or by necessary implication, discriminate as between persons or classes of persons; nor does it
purport to deny to any one equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws. Indeed, it
does not by its own force make the special procedure provided in the Act applicable to the trial of
any offence or classes of offences or classes of cases; for, it is the State Government's
notification under the section that attracts the application of the procedure. Nor is that procedure,
as I have endeavored to show, calculated to impair the chances of a fair trial of the cases to which
it may be made applicable, and no discriminatory intent or design is discernible on its face,
unless every departure from the normal procedure is to be regarded as involving a hostile
discrimination. I have already held, as a matter of construction, that section 5 (1)vests a
discretion in the State Government to refer to a special court for trial such offences or classes of
offences or cases or classes of cases as may, in its opinion, require a speedier trial. Such
discretion the State Government is expected to exercise honestly and reasonably, and the mere
fact that it is not made subject to judicial review cannot mean that it was intended to be exercised
in an arbitrary manner without reference to the declared object of the Act or, as Harries C.J. put
it, "whether the duration of a case is likely to be long or not. Even from the point of view of
reasonable classification, I can see no reason why the validity of the Act should not be sustained.
As already pointed out, wide latitude must be allowed to a legislature in classifying persons and
things to be brought under the operation of a special law, and such classification need not be
based on an exact or scientific exclusion or inclusion. The framers of the Constitution have
referred to equality in the Preamble, and have devoted as many as five articles, namely, articles
14, 15, 16.17, and 18 in the Chapter on Fundamental Rights, to ensure equality in all its aspects.
Some of these Articles are confined to citizens only and some can be availed of by non-citizens
also; but on reading these provisions as a whole, one can see the great importance attached to the

Page | 8

principle of equality in the Constitution. That being so, it will be wrong to whittle down the
meaning of article 14, and however well-intentioned the impugned Act may be and however
reluctant one may feel to hold it invalid, it seems to me that section 5 of the Act, or at least that
part of it with which alone we are concerned in this appeal, does offend against article 14 of the
Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional and void. The Act is really modelled upon a preConstitution pattern and will have to be suitably redrafted in order to conform to the
requirements of the Constitution.
2) Fazl Ali J. concurred in the following words: I have come to the conclusion that these
appeals should be dismissed, and since that is also the conclusion which has been arrived
at by several of my colleagues and they have written very full and elaborate judgments in
support of it.
3) Mukherjea J. partially concurred stating different observations for his concurrence in
dismissing the appeal, in the following words: It is said that in cases where the law does
not lay down a standard or form in accordance with which the classification is to be
made, it would be the duty of the officers entrusted with the execution of the law, to make
the classification in the way consonant with the principles of the Constitution (2). If that
be the position, then an action might lie for annulling the acts of the officers if they are
found not to be in conformity with the equality clause. Moreover, in the present case the
notification by the State Government could come within the definition of law as given in
article 13(3) of the Constitution and can be impeached apart from the Act if it violates
article 14 of the Constitution. I do not consider it necessary to pursue this matter any
further, as in my opinion even on the limited ground upon which the High Court bases its
decision, these appeals are bound to fail.
4) MAHAJAN J.concurred in the following words: I had the advantage of reading the
judgment prepared by my brother Mukherjea and I am in respectful agreement with his
opinion. Speedier trial of offences may be the reason and motive for the legislation but it
does not amount either to a classification of offences or of cases. As pointed out by
Chakravarti J. the necessity of a speedy trial is too vague and uncertain a criterion to form
the basis of a valid and reasonable classification. In the words of Das Gupta J. it is too
indefinite as there can hardly be any definite objec- tive test to determine it. In my
opinion, it is no classification at all in the real sense of the term as it is not based on any
characteristics which are peculiar to persons or to cases which are to be subject to the
special procedure prescribed by the Act. The mere fact of classification is not sufficient to
relieve a statute from the reach of the equality clause of article 14. To get out of its reach
it must appear that not only a classification has been made but also that it is one based
upon a reasonable ground on some difference which bears a just and proper relation to the
attempted classification and is not a mere arbitrary selection. Persons concerned in
offences or cases needing so- called speedier trial are entitled to inquire "Why are they
being made the subject of a law which has short-circuited the normal procedure of trial;
why has it grouped them in that category and why has the law deprived them of the

Page | 9

protection and safeguards which are allowed in the case of accused tried under the
procedure mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code; what makes the legislature or the
executive to think that their cases need speedier trial than those of others like them?" The
only answer, that so far as I am able to see, the Act gives to these inquiries is that they are
being made the subject of this special treatment because they need it in the opinion of the
provincial government; in other words, because such is the choice of their prosecutor.
This answer neither sounds rational nor reasonable. The only answer for withholding
from such persons the protection of article 14 that could reasonably be given to these
inquiries would be that "Of all other accused persons they are a class by themselves and
there is a reasonable difference between them and those other persons who may have
committed similar offences." It was suggested that good faith and knowledge of existing
conditions on the part of a legislature has to be presumed. That is so; yet to carry that
presumption to the extent of always holding that there must be some undisclosed
intention or reason for subjecting certain individuals to a hostile and discriminatory
legislation is to make the protection clause of article 14, in the words of an American
decision, a mere rope of sand, in no manner restraining State action. The protection
afforded by the article is not a mere eyewash but it is a real one and unless a just cause
for discrimination on the basis of a reasonable classification is put forth as a defence, the
statute has to be declared unconstitutional. No just cause has been shown in the present
instance. The result is that the appeals fail and are dismissed.
5) Das J. concurred as such: I concur in dismissing these appeals but I am not persuaded
that the whole of section 5(1) of the West Bengal Special Courts Act is invalid. As I find
myself in substantial agreement with the interpretation put upon that section by the
majority of the Full Bench of the Calcutta High Court and most of the reasons adopted by
Harries, C.J. in support thereof, I do not feel called upon to express myself in very great
6) Chandrasekhara Aiyar J.: The short question that arises for consideration in these cases
is whether the whole, or any portion of the West Bengal Special Courts Act, X of 1950, is
invalid as being opposed to equality before the law and the equal protection of the laws
guaranteed under article 14 of the Constitution of India. The facts which have led up to
the cases have been stated in the judgments of the High Court at Calcutta and their
recapitulation is unnecessary. I agree in the conclusion reached by my learned brothers
that the appeals should be dismissed.

Decision: The impugned act has been declared bad in law as voilative of Article 14 and under
article 13 void as such because a law offending article 14 must have a reasonable classification
even though it has been put out of the purview of judicial review.


P a g e | 10

Article 14, per se, is undisputedly is too vast a concept to be dealt in such a study. Thus, the
student will limit the research to the application and fundamentals of the doctrine of reasonable
classification under Indian Constitutional Jurisprudence as formulated andexpounded in various


State of W.B. v. Anwar Ali, 1952 ]

Kathi Ranning Rawat v. State of Saurashtra.]- The Concept of Reasonable Classification
Lachmandas Kewalram Ahuja v. State of Bombay (1952) ]
Shri ram Krishna Dalmia v Justice S.R. Tendolkar (1959):The theory of classification
adopted by the courts was a necessary concept underlying the equality clause, namely,
that the law must operate alike on all persons under like circumstances. This concept
negatives class legislation. The true meaning and scope of Art.14 has been explained in
several decisions of the Supreme Court, the wee referred to and their effect was
summarized by Das J. in this case.
3. D.D Joshi v Union (1983):It is well settled and controverted on the behalf of the
respondent that Art. 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid classification.
4. R. Prasad Mohan Lal v I.T.A Tribunal (1970): if the two tests are satisfied it is not for
the courts to see to the wisdom of the basis of the basis of the classification. It may be
demonstrated that the scheme is not the best in circumstances, and the choice of the
legislature may be shown to be erroneous, but the classification will not be subject to
judicial interference on these grounds.
5. Bombay v. F.N. Balsara (1951): In permissible classification mathematical nicety and
perfect equality are not required. Similarity, not identity of treatment is enough. If a law
deals equally with members of a well-defined class, it is not open to the charge of denial
of equal protection on the ground that the law has no application to other persons.

The research would be doctrinal in nature, and the student would be referring to both primary
resources such as Indian and U.S cases, as well as secondary resources such as various
commentaries, books, Scholarly articles and web journals.

P a g e | 11

In the official publication1 of the constituent assembly debates there is a tabular chart in the
beginning. The first column of that chart lists the article of the constitution and the second
column mentions the corresponding provision of the draft constitution. Against article 14 there is
an asterisk with the word new. In other words, article 14 did not feature in the draft
constitution as an independent provision and the content of Article 14 was substantially reflected
in the second limb of the Draft Article 15, which was enacted as article 21. During the debates on
the draft article 15, this second limb did not draw the attention of the members. At the revision
stage this second limb was lifted and places as an independent provision- Article 14.
However, extensive debates took place on the draft articles in relation to what was adopted in the
constitution as article 15 and article 16. These debates throw some light on the general concept of
right to equality which forms the heading under which article 14 to 18 find place. These draft
articles relating to article 15 and 16 reveal that the assembly injuncted the state from
discriminating against persons on certain specific grounds. In the absence of any exclusive
debates on the concept of equality in a constitution committed to bringing about a social and
economic transformation of millions of people condemned to poverty and social degradation, the
burden of explaining what the word meant and how was it to be applied fell on the judiciary.
This may supply the reason why the court made frequent reference to the judgments of the U.S.
Supreme Court on the 14th Amendment of the American constitution which said that no state
shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws
Article 14 confers a right to all persons by a negative process. It operates as an injunction against
the state from denying equality. It may not be an exaggeration to say that it is the courts activist
approach to Article 14 which has made the people look up to the Courts against the state
oppressive and arbitrary and discriminatory exercise power, both in legislative and
administrative spheres. Its importance is gaining progressive relevance because of the state

1 Published by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

P a g e | 12

traversing non-traditional areas like business and commerce and at the same time failing to
discharge its constitutional and legal obligations by inertia and inaction.
Perhaps the most important area where the article has made its presence felt is in the grant and
exercise of discretionary power. Conferment of power without any restrictions or safeguards
enables the donee of the power to abuse its exercise by taking action against a person or a class
of persons to his or their prejudice. Such power enables him to indulge in discrimination against
a person or class of person to the exclusion of others who are similarly circumstanced. It is at
once clear that equally circumstanced persons are not treated equally. Hence, the court has struck
at the grant of such unguided power on the basis of its potential harmful exercise as opposed to
its actual exercise.
Article 14 does not envisage wooden equality in pragmatic realisation that all persons are not
born equal nor do they develop equally. In fact, many have lesser opportunities to grow due to
social and environmental handicaps which are highly prevalent in a country like ours because of
the historical factors like political oppression by alien rulers, religious fundamentalism, societal
caste degradation, economic exploitation, all resulting in deep division of rich and poor and
many more evil congruities. Set in the context of massive inequalities, the state must be
empowered with powers to find ways and means of removing the inequalities by affirmative
action with the obvious implication of discriminating in favor of the lower rungs to lift them up
to the higher rungs. Such favorable disposition is to achieve equality and the tool for this
upliftment lies in the doctrine of classification.
Equality, as a general concept, is understood as involvement and treatment of two or more
objects or persons and in constitutional sense means the existence of dissimilar characteristics
among them. The differences must be intelligible and the affirmative action to be taken by the
state with the objective of removing the adverse dissimilarities must have a rational link (or
nexus) with the achievement with the object. The issue of unreasonability or reasonability relates
to the link. It is by the application of this classification principle that the court has upheld single
person legislation when that person constitutes a class in himself. However, this is not the sole
test and in 19782 and the court seems to have added the substantive due process doctrine which is
2 Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978) 2 SCR 621.

P a g e | 13

extensively applied in the U.S by saying that Article 14 gets attracted whenever an executive act
or legislative enactment is unreasonable or arbitrary.

P a g e | 14


It is to be noted that while the phrase equality before law occurs in almost all written
constitutions which guarantee the right to equality, the constitution of the United States uses the
expression equal protection of the laws. Our constitution on the other hand, uses both
Every person is entitled to equality before law and equal protection of laws. Where the state is
bound to protect every person from inequality. This equality does not speak of formal equality
before the law, but embodies the concept of real and substantive equality which strikes at the
inequalities arising on the account of vast social and economic differentiation.
Equal protection means the right to equal treatment in similar circumstances, both in the
privileges conferred and in the liabilities imposed by the laws, 3 the question of discrimination, if
any, can arise only or between persons who are similarly, if not identically situated. The ordinary
meaning of discrimination is very inoffensive. It mean making a distinction or differences
between things; a distinction; a difference; a distinguishing mark or characteristic; the power of
observing differences accurately; of making; exact distinction; discernment.4 And a
discrimination made by constitution itself cannot be questioned as violating Art. 14.5 But it has to
be noted here, that in all cases of discrimination the principle is the same, viz., that there should
be no discrimination between one person and another if as regards the subject-matter of the
legislation the position is the same, 6 in other words, its action must be not be arbitrary but must
be based on some valid principle which itself must not be irrational or discriminatory.
Article 14 of the constitution ensures equality among equals; its aim is to protect persons
similarly placed against discriminatory treatment. It does not however, operate against rational
classification. A person setting up a grievance of denial of equal treatment by must establish that
3 State of W.B. v. Anwar Ali, 1952 SCR 284 (320).
4 Oxford English Dictionary.
5 UOI v. K.S. Subramaniam, AIR 1976 SC 2433.
6 Chiranjit lal v. Union of India, 1950 SCR 869.

P a g e | 15

between persons similarly circumstanced, some were treated to their prejudice and the different
treatment had no reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by law.7 There is no
closed category of classification; the extent, range and kind of classification depend on the
subject matter of the legislation, the conditions of the country, and the economic and social and
political factors at work at a particular time.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that equal protection of the laws in the U.S Constitution
meant the protection of the equal laws that operate alike on all persons under like circumstances.8
The theory of classification adopted by the American Courts was a necessary consequence of the
underlying equality clause, namely, that a law must operate alike on all persons under like
circumstances. This concept negatives class legislation9 because to single out members of a class
is to treat some persons who are similarly situated alike while whilst treating others also
similarly situated, differently. For example, A law which prescribes that members of community
A shall pay a tax of five percent on their incomes whereas members of community B, similarly
situated, shall pay a tax of ten percent on their incomes, violates the principle of classification
because though members of the two communities are similarly situated, as regards their incomes,
they are treated differently. This illustration helps to explain the paradoxical statement that the
equality clause forbids class legislation but does not forbid classification, for though
classification involves putting persons or things together in class, the equality clause requires that
the class thus formed must not leave out any person or things which fall within the class, as the
class formed for the purpose of class legislation unmistakably does.

7 In re Special Courts Bill 1978, AIR 1979 SC 478.

8 Anwar Ali Sarkars Case, (1952) S.C.R 284, 294.

9 Shri Ram Krishna Dalmia v. Justice S.R. Tendolkar, (1959) S C.R. 279, 296.

P a g e | 16

P a g e | 17


Article 14 combines the English doctrine of rule of law with the equal protection clause of the
14th amendment. In adopting the doctrine of classification laid down by the U.S. Supreme court,
our Supreme Court has merely adopted a doctrine which makes explicit what is implicit in the
very concept of the protection of equal laws.10 But though the theory is easy to state, its
application is confronted by many difficulties.
The fundamental question
The question of conferment of discretionary power in relation to Art. 14. As this branch of the
law was developed by the Supreme Court in a series of cases in which two different procedures
were prescribed for the trial of criminal offences, those cases are inevitably fundamental in for
reaching a deductible conclusion.
Both before and after the constitution, several states had enacted laws empowering the State
Governments to set up special courts for the trial of such offences or classes of offences, or
cases or classes of cases as the State Govt. may by general or space order in writing direct 11.
The procedure prescribed by all these laws for the trial of cases was materially different from
that prescribed by the Cr.P.C. for the trial of offences generally, and this special procedure was
challenged as violative of Art. 14 in Anwar Ali Sarkars Case 12, Kathi Raning Rawats Case and
Ahujas Case. All these cases raised the question whether the special procedure prescribed by the
impugned law was discriminatory, and except for the doubt expressed by Sastri C.J. in Ahujas
case the judges had no difficulty in holding that the procedure was discriminatory, as it clearly
was. The next question considered was whether the special procedure could be justified on the
10 As per Bose J, Anwar Ali Sarkars Case.
11S. 5(1), W.B. Special Courts Act, 1950 (impunged in Anwar Ali Sarkars Case) , S.
11, Saurashtra State Public safety (3rd Amendment) Ordinance (impunged in Kathi
Raning Rawats Case), S.12, Bombay Public Safety Measures Act, 1947 (impunged in
Ahujas case)

P a g e | 18

basis of permissible classification, and this question produced a remarkable divergence of

opinion in each case, and from case to case.

The divergence of opinions

In Anwar Ali Sarkars Case, the majority (Fazl Ali, Mahajan, Mukherjea, Chandrashekhara Aiyar
and Bose JJ.) held that s. 5(1), West Bengal Special Courts Act, 1950, was wholly void. Das J. in
a concurring judgment held that s. 5(1) was void only to the extent that it referred to cases.
Sastri C.J. in his dissent held that S. 5(1) was valid. Fazl Ali, Mahajan, Mukherjea and
Chandrasekhara Aiyar JJ. Accepted the theory of classification and held that the section
conferred unfettered and arbitrary power on the Govt. to classify offences or cases at its pleasure,
since the act did not disclose or lay down any policy to guide the discretion of the govt. in
classifying the cases or offences. The reference in the preamble to the necessity for speedier trial
of offences could not control the plain meaning of S. 5(1) 13 ; but even if the words of the
preamble were read into, or, with the words of the section, the words speedier trial was too
vague and uncertain to afford any basis of rational classification. 14 Das J. held that the part of the
section which referred to cases was outside the preamble, 15 which referred only to offences
or classes of offences.
The speedier trial mentioned in the preamble was the object of the impugned law and the object
by itself could not be the basis of classification. 16 However, circumstances attending a crime may
furnish a basis for classifying offences or classes of offences or classes of cases as
requiring speedier trial, in which event S. 5(1) by necessary implication empowered the state to
13 Mukherjea J. (with whom Mahajan J. concurred) (1952) S.C.R 284 at p. 327-328;
Das J. ibid p. 340; Chandrasekhara Aiyar J. ibid. at p.353.
14 Ibid, as per Mukherjea J.(Mahajan J. agreeing) at p. 328, Das J at p.340-341,
Chandrashekhara Aiyar ar p. 343.
15 Ibid, at p. 345.
16 Ibid. at p.335.

P a g e | 19

make such classification in the light of the object set out in the preamble. If the govt. made an
arbitrary or impermissible classification, such classification, and not the law, would be struck
down.17 Fazl Ali and Mukherjea JJ., rejected this position although in the case to be considered
next they practically accepted it. Fazl Ali. J. rejected the position because its acceptance would
mean that even palpable discrimination made by an act couched in general terms could not be
chaalanged, nor could the executive action under the law be challenged because the executive
could plead that it was authorized by the law.18 Mukherjea J. rejected the position by saying that
when statute itself made discrimination without any reasonable basis it would be invalidated for
violating Art. 14 and the question as to how the law was actually worked migh not be material.
He held that in case before him the statute itself made a discrimination. 19 It is submitted that the
majority view is correct, and Sastri C.J.s dissent does not answer the questions raised, and
answered, by the majority .
Kathi Raning Rawats Case20 was heard by the same bench which heard Anwar Ali Sarkars Case
and the impugned provisions of the Saurashtra Ordinance were substantially the same as those
impugned in Anwar Ali Sarkars case with the following differences:
The procedure prescribed was free from some of the objectionable features of the West Bengal
Ordinance but even so it was sufficiently prejudicial to the accused to be discriminatory.
However, the preamble was different; it referred to the need to provide for public safety,
maintenance of public order and the preservation of peace and tranquility in the state of
Saurashtra. The Ordinance was a pre-constitution ordinance.21 The case was heard along with
Anwar Ali Sarkars Case but was adjourned to enable the respondent state to file an affidavit
explaining the circumstances under which the impugned order was passed. Although Sec. 11 of
17 Ibid at p. 344.
18 I think the fallacy of the argument lies in overlooking the fact that insidious
discrimination complained of is incorporated in the act itself, it being so drafted
that whenever any discrimination is made such discrimination would be ultimately
tracable to it. per Fazl Ali J., p.309-310.
19 Ibid. at p. 331.
20 (1952) S.C.R. 435.

P a g e | 20

the ordinance was in terms identical with S. 5 (1) of the W.B. Special Courts act, the majority
(Sastri C.J., Fazl Ali, Mukherjea and Das JJ.) held, according to the chief justice, that s. 11 was
valid in its entirety, and according to the rest that it was valid as to that part which referred to
offences, classes of offences and classes of cases. Mahajan, Chhandrashekhara Aiyar and
Bose JJ. Held that s. 11 violated article 14 and was void. Sastri C.J. adhered to his view in Anwar
Ali Sarksars Case and found the present case an a fortiori. 22 The states affidavit furnished an
additional ground for holding that there was a two-fold classification on the lines of type and
territory adopted in the impugned ordinance read with the notification issued thereunder. Fazl
Ali J. found in the preamble a decisive factor distinguishing the present case form Anwar Ali
Sarkars Case, for it gave guidance to govt. in classifying offences, classes of offences or
classes of cases tried by the special procedure.23 Mukherjea J. arrived at the same conclusion
on the basis of preamble taken along with the circumstances disclosed in the govt.s affidavit. 24
Das J. adhered to his earlier position. 25 Mahajan and Chandrashekhara Aiyar JJ. Found the case
covered by Anwar Ali Sarkars Case. Mahajan J. said that the plain words of S. 11 could not be
controlled by the familiar and conventional phraseology of the preamble. 26 Chadrashekhara
Aiyar . said that the need to provide for public safety, maintenance of public order, and the
preservation of peace and tranquility in the state by itself indicated no classification, as the object
was general one, and every law dealing with the commission and punishment of offences are

21 The west Bengal Act was a post-constitution Act, but it was a verbatim
reproduction of a pre-consitutional ordinance, as per Fazl Ali J.
22 (1952) S.C.R. 435 at p.441.
23 Ibid. at p. 449-450; his repugnance to this type of legislation is expressed by hi in
these words the legislatures should have recourse to legislation such as the
present only in very special circumstances
24 Ibid at p. 460-62.
25 Ibid. at p. 465.
26 Ibid at. P.453.

P a g e | 21

based on the need referred to in the preamble. Both Mahajan J. 27 and Chandrashekhara Aiyar J.28
said that the discrimination inherent in the act was reflected in the notification, in which cognate
offences, that is, offences presenting the same characteristic features, had been separately dealt
with, some were to be tried by the Special Court, and the others by ordinary Courts. Mukherjea J.
realized the force of these observations, but he did not met them, 29 he merely said that even if the
force of the observations was recognized, the accused had been charged with murder under s.
302, I.P.C. which could be placed on an identical footing with murder. Therefore it was not open
for the accused to raise the question that the Act was discriminatory in respect of other offences .
Bose J. repeated his views on the equality clause, and agreed with Mahajan and Chandrasekhara
Aiyar JJ.
It is submitted that the minority judgments are correct. If, as Mukherjea J. held, the appellant was
not entitled to complain of discrimination because he had not been discriminated against, there
was no need at all to consider the constitutional validity of the impugned Act. And if the
constitutional validity of the act was to be decided, it was irrelevant that the appellant had no
locus standi to complain of inequality. Again, the issue presented by Fazl Ali J. 30 was not the real
issue. The real issue was not, can a legislature under any circumstances lay down a special
procedure for the trial of a particular class of offences, or did recourse to a simplified and less
cumbersome procedure for the trial of those offences, even when abnormal conditions prevailed,
amount to violation of Art. 14? 31 The real issue was whether the legislature has classified
offences, or classes of offences or classes of cases which required to be tried by a special
procedure having regard to the nature of the offences or cases and the abnormal circumstances
attending them, or alternatively, whether the legislature has indicated any principles on which
27 Ibid at p. 452.
28 Ibid at p. 476.
29 Genral observations that the equality clause did not require abstract symmetry
cannot be said to meet objections going far beyond abstract symmetry.
30 Ibid a p.450.
31 Ibid.

P a g e | 22

govt. was under an obligation to classify offences, classes of offences or classes of cases which
required to be so tried. It is submitted that Mahajan J. was right in saying that the plain
unambiguous language of S. 11 could not be controlled by the preamble, 32 indeed Mukherjea J.
has said so in Anwar Ali Sarkars case. But even if the preamble is used to throw light on S.11,
the majority judgment give no answer to the cogent objection of Chandrasekhara Aiyyar J. that
the need expressed in the preamble is at the basis of all criminal law. 33 The need to provide for
public safety, maintenance of public order, and the preservation of peace and tranquility cannot
furnish the differentia for classifying offences or classes of offences, first for the reason given by
Chandrasekhara Aiyar J., and secondly, because the need referred to in the preamble is the object
of the act, and the differentia and the object are different elements and the object by itself cannot
be the differentia.
Ahujas case34 raise the question whether a power to refer cases to a special tribunal whose
procedure was prejudicial to the accused as compared to the general law violated Art. 14. The
question would have been completely covered by Anwar Ali Sarkars Case, if a new question had
not been raised, namely, that assuming that the impugned law became void after coming into
effect of the constitution, did such invalidity affect a trial commenced before, but concluded
after, the constitution came into force?
Sastri C.J. answered this question in negative. Das J. for himself, Mahajan, Mukherjea and
Chandrasekhara Aiyar JJ. Answered it in affirmative. Sastri C.J. held, first that the constitution
was not retrospective as held in Menons Case35, secondly, that persons whose trials had
commenced before the constitution came into force were not similarly circumstanced, and the
equality clause was not violated in treating differently those whose trial began after 26 January
1950, and lastly, that the special judge was competent to try the case when he began it before 26 th
January 1950, and the impugned act was validly applied. The rest was merely working out the
32 Ibid. at p.453.
33Ibid. at p. 476./
34 (1952) S.C.R 710.
35 (1951) S.C.R 228.

P a g e | 23

application of the act. Das J. held that Anwar Ali Sarkars case directly applied and Menons case
did not, for it related to substantive rights, that is, to acts which before the constitution amounted
to an offence under the impugned act, but which if done after the constitution would not be an
offence, and all that the case decided was that the constitution was not retrospective, did not
obliterate the offence completed before the constitution came into force and therefore the
offender could be proceeded against. However, the question raise by a procedural law was
different. No one had a vested right in any course of procedure, 36 and it must follow as a
corollary that nobody had a vested liability in matters of procedure. Also, the persons whose
cases were sent to the special tribunal before 26th January 1950 did not constitute a different class
from those whose cases were sent after the date because such a classification had no nexus with
the object of the act which was wide enough to cover both. Das J. held that the continuation of
the trial under a discriminatory procedure made the trial void, and the special judges
jurisdiction came to an end, for he was enjoined to proceed only according to the special
procedure and that procedure having become void as stated above, he could not proceed at all as
a Judge of special court constituted under the impugned act.37
The summarized proposition
Though the true meaning and scope of Doctrine of reasonable classification under Art. 14 has
been explained in several decisions of the Supreme Court, almost all such decisions were
referred to and their effect summarized by Das C.J. in Dalmias Case 38. The following
propositions are established by Dalmias case and the other cases to which it refers to:

Article 14 condemns discrimination not only by substantive law by also by a procedural


Art. 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid classification.
Permissible classification must satisfy two conditions, namely (1) it must be founded on
an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together

36 The court cited Maxwell. Interpretation of Statutes, 9 th edn., p.232.

37 Ibid at p. 735.
38 (1959) S.C.R. 279.

P a g e | 24

from others left out of the group, and (2) the differentia must have a rational relation to

the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question .

The differentia and object are different and it follows that the object by itself cannot be


the basis of classification.

In permissible classification mathematical nicety and perfect equality are not required,


similarity, no identity of treatment, is enough.

The classification may be founded on different bases, namely, geographical or according


to objects or occupations or the like.

If a law deals equally with the members of a well-defined class, it is not open to the
charge of denial of equal protection on the ground that the law has no application to other


Even a single individual may be in a class by himself on account of some special
circumstances applicable to him and not applicable to others, a law may be constitutional


even though it relates to a single individual who is in a class by himself.

There is always a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of an enactment and the
burden is upon him who attacks it to show that there has been a clear transgression of the


constitutional principles.
While good faith and knowledge of the existing conditions on the part of the legislature
are to be presumed, if there is nothing on the face of the law or the surrounding
circumstances brought to the notice of the court on which the classification may
reasonably regarded as based, the presumption of constitutionality cannot be carried on to
the extent of always holding that there must be some undisclosed and unknown reasons
for subjecting certain individuals or corporations to hostile or discriminatory legislation.
The principle must be borne in mind in deciding whether a law violates Art. 14.

P a g e | 25


In Constitutional Law of India,39 by H.M. Seervai what is meant by equal protection of law is
answered thus: If all men are created equal and remained equal throughout their lives, thus the
same laws would apply to all men. But we know that men are unequal; consequently, a right
conferred on persons that they shall not be denied the equal protection of laws, cannot mean
the protection of the same laws for all. It is here that the doctrine of classification steps in and
gives content and significance to the guarantee of equal protection of laws. According to this
doctrine the equal protection of laws must mean the protection of equal laws for all persons
similarly situated.
To separate persons similarly situated from those who are not, we must discriminate, that is,
act on the basis of differences between persons, or observe distinctions carefully between
persons who are persons who are not similarly situated. But as the distinction is to be made for
the purpose of making a law, how must be the distinction related to the law? This is answered by
the doctrine of classification, permissible classification must satisfy two conditions namely:
1. It must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that
are grouped together from others left out of the group, and
2. The differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the
statute in question with the qualification that the differentia and the object are different,
so that the object cannot by itself be the basis of classification. A law based on
permissible classification, fulfills the guarantee of equal protection of law and is valid. 40
The expressions such as similarly circumscribed and similarly situated are crucial, but
ambiguous expressions. The question is where are we to look for the test of similarity of the
situation or circumstances which determines the reasonableness of a classification? The
inescapable answer is that we must look beyond the classification to the purpose of law. A

39 4th edn., Vol. 1, p. 439.

40 State of Bihar v. Bihar State Plus-2 Lecturers Association, AIR 2007 SC 1948; Seema Silk
and Sarees v. Directorate of Enforcement, AIR 2008 SC 2564.
Dhirendra Pandua v. State of Orrissa, AIR 2009 SC 163.

P a g e | 26

reasonable classification is one which includes all persons or things similarly situated with
respect to the purpose of law.41
The equal protection clause of Article 14 has been taken verbatim from the American
Constitution. Hence, in interpreting this clause it is permissible to refer to the decisions of the
American Supreme Court upon the Equal Protection Clause of the American Constitution. 42 Thus
in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 43 in a concurring judgment by Justice
Stewart, it was held: Unlike other provisions of the constitution, the Equal Protection Clause
confers no substantive rights and confers no substantive liberties. The function of the equal
protection is simply to measure the validity of classification created by state laws. In this case,
the question was regarding disparity in financing public schools. Public schools in Texas were
financed through property taxes levied by the local school districts. Because districts with an
abundance of expensive property had greater property tax revenue than districts with inexpensive
property, per pupil expenditure among school districts varied greatly. This disparity was
challenged as a violation of equal protection. In that case, court held that the equal protection
requires only that states system be shown to bear some rational relationship to legitimate state
purposes and concluded that disparities are not the product of a system that is so irrational as to
be invidiously discriminatory.
Basing himself on relevant American decision, Sastri CJ. In State of W.B v. Anwar Ali Sarkar 44,
held that it was necessary for the state to ensure not only equality before law, but also equal
protection of the laws by so framing the laws by so framing the laws so that the benefit
thereunder is enjoyed equally by all. Government has to deal with a variety of relations.
Inequality in operation may thus lead to equality of protection. The duties and burdens cast n
different persons are different and therefore law has to adjust itself to giving equal protection.
The idea of reasonable classification is mooted in this meaning.
41 In re Special Courts Bill 1978, AIR 1979 SC 478.
42 As Per Bhandari J. in Ashok Kumar Thakur v. UOI, (2008) 6 SCC 1.
43 (1973) 411 US 1.
44 AIR 1952 SC 75.

P a g e | 27

Power of classification
It follows then ,that the principle of equality does not meant that every law must have universal
application for all persons who are not by nature, attainment or circumstances, in the same
position, as the varying needs of different classes of persons often require special treatment and
for the same reason the principle does not take away from the state the power of classifying
persons for legitimate purposes. The principle has been thus explained by the American Supreme
CourtThe Fourteenth Amendment enjoins the equal protection of the laws, and laws are not abstract
propositions. They do not relate to abstract units. A,B, and C, but are expressions of policy
arising out of specific difficulties, addressed to the attainment of specific ends by use of specific
remedies. The constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinions to be
treated in law as though they were the same.45
In the words of our Supreme CourtA legislature which has to deal with diverse problems arising out of an infinite variety of human
relations must, of necessity, have the power of making special laws to attain particular objects;
and for that purpose it must have large powers of selection or classification of persons and things
upon which such laws are to operate.46
Thus for the above purpose1. A statute may itself indicate the person or things to whom its provisions are intended to
apply and the basis of classification may appear on the face of the statute. If the
classification satisfies the constitutional requirement, it would be valid.47
2. A statute may direct its provision against one individual person or thing or several
individual persons or things, but no reasonable basis of classification may appear on the

45 Tigner v. Texas, (1940) 310 US 141.

46 Ameeroonnisa v. Mahboob, 1953 SCR 404.
47 Charanjit Lal v. UOI, AIR 1951 SC 41.

P a g e | 28

face of it. If a reasonable classification cannot be inferred, the statute would be contrary
to Article 14.48
3. A statue may not make any classification but leave it to the discretion of the government
to select and classify persons or things to whom the provisions are to apply. If the
principle or policy guiding the discretion of the government in making such classification
does not satisfy the criteria of a valid classification, then such a statute would be invalid.49
4. A statute may not make a classification and may leave it to the discretion of the
government to do so, but may also lay down the policy or principle to guide the exercise
of the discretion of the government such a statute would be valid.50
In short, differential treatment does not per se constitute violation of Art. 14. It denies equal
protection only when there is no reasonable basis for the differentiation. 51 When a law is
challenged to be discriminatory, essentially on the ground that it denies equal treatment, the
question for determination by the court is not whether it has resulted in inequality, but whether
there is some difference which bears a just and reasonable relation to the object of thee
legislation. Mere differentiation per se does not amount to differentiation within the inhibition of
equal protection clause. To attract the operation of the clause, it is necessary to show that the
selection or differentiation is unreasonable or arbitrary and it does not rest on any rational basis
having regard to the object which the legislature has in view.
Presumption of Constitutionality
There is always a presumption in favour of constitutionality of enactment and the burden is upon
him who attacks it to show that there has been a clear transgression of the constitutional
principles. The presumption of constitutionality stems from the wide power of classification
which the legislature must, of necessity, posses in making laws operating differently as regards
48 Ramprasad Narain Sahi v State of Bihar, AIR 1953 SC 215.
49 Supra at 12.
50 Kathi Ranning Rawat v. State of Saurashtra, AIR 1952 SC 123.
51 Ameeroonnisa v. Mahboob, 1953 SCR 404; In re Special Courts Bill 1978, AIR
1979 SC 478.

P a g e | 29

different persons and groups of persons in order to give effect to the policies. It must be
presumed that the legislature understands and correctly appreciates the needs of its own
people.52 In Karnataka Bank Ltd. v. State of AP,53 the court said; the rules that guide the
constitutional courts in guiding their solemn duty to declare laws passed by the legislature
unconstitutional are well known. There is always a presumption in favour of constitutionality and
a law will not be declared unconstitutional unless the case is so clear as to be free from doubt; to
dout the constitutionality of a law is to resolve in favour of its validity. Where the validity of
law is questioned and there are two interpretations, on of which would make the law valid and
other void, the former must be preferred and the validity of law must be upheld. In pronouncing
the constitutional validity of a statute, the court is not concerned with the wisdom or unwisdom,
or justice or injustice of the law. If that which is passed into law is within the scope of the power
conferred on a legislature and violates no restriction on that power, the law must be upheld
whatever the court may think of it.54 but if the discrimination is writ large, prima facie, on the
legislation , the burden may shift to the state to sustain the validity of the legislation in

52 Ashutosh Gupta v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2001 SC 1533.

53 (2008) 2 SCC 254.
54 RamKrishna Dalmia v Justice S.R. Tendolkar, AIR 1958 SC 538.
55 Ibid.

P a g e | 30


Thus, the entire problem under the equal protection is one of the classification or of drawing
Classification means segregation in classes which have a systematic relation, usually found in
common properties and characteristics. It postulates a rational basis and does not mean herding
together of certain persons and classes arbitrarily.57
Article 14 of the constitution ensures equality among equals; its aim is to protect persons
similarly placed against discriminatory treatment. It does not however, operate against rational
classification. A person setting up a grievance of denial of equal treatment by must establish that
between persons similarly circumstanced, some were treated to their prejudice and the different
treatment had no reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved by law.58 There is no
closed category of classification; the extent, range and kind of classification depend on the
subject matter of the legislation, the conditions of the country, the economic and social and
political factors at work at a particular time.
A classification is reasonable when it is not an arbitrary selection, but rests on the differences
pertinent to the subject in respect of which the classification is made. 59 The classification or
differentia adopted as the basis of classification must have rational or reasonable nexus with the
object to be achieved.
A mathematically accurate classification cannot be done but there should be some broad
guidelines. It is submitted that the law should be, as far as possible, clear and certain, so that
people may know where they stand and conduct their affairs accordingly. Hence, an attempt
should be made to clarify the meaning of the words reasonable and rational. This vagueness
56 Supra at 3.
57 Ibid.
58 In re Special Courts Bill 1978, AIR 1979 SC 478.
59 Supra at 23.

P a g e | 31

and uncertainty should not be allowed to remain, so that judges may have total freedom or
discretion. As it is of common knowledge, that what may be regarded as rational or reasonable
by one judge may not be so regarded by another. This could lead to chaos in law and ambiguity
in the present reading to the principle which was intended to be relatively clear by our
constitutional forefathers.
One may assert as held in Transport and Dock Workers Union v. Mumbai Port Trust, 60 that the
classification should be considered reasonable if it satisfies the test of social conduciveness.
However, it is submitted that the term social conduciveness is in itself as vague and ambiguous
as the words reasonable and rational, thus, a long era of judicial interpretation for
determining its true meaning may go futile. Instead on relying on abstract, a priori notion of
social conduciveness, a more practical approach is necessary.
We may derive such practical test from the rule of differentiation. As though the rule of social
conduciveness is not a natural and logical corollary to the rule of equality, but the rule of
differentiation is inherent in the concept of equality. A classification in order to be constitutional
must rest upon the distinctions that are substantial and not merely illusionary. The test is whether
there is a basis of differentiation free form artificiality and arbitrariness embracing all and
omitting none naturally falling into that category. However, it would be a fundamental mistake
in conceptualization to assume a priori that there can be no classification within a class. If there
are intelligible differentia which separate a group within that class from the rest and that
differentia have a nexus with the object of classification, there is no objection to a further
classification within that class.61
Classification must rest on a intelligible basis and the same must bear a nexus to the object
sought to be achieved by the statute. By its very nature, classification can and is often fraught
with the danger of resulting in artificial inequalities which make it necessary to subject the power
to classify to restraints lest the guarantee of equality becomes illusionary on account of
classification being fanciful instead of fair, practical and intelligible. A classification must be
truly founded on substantial differences that distinguish persons grouped together from those left
60 (2011) 2 SCC 310.
61 State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas, (1976) 2 SCC 310.

P a g e | 32

out of the group and such differential attributes must bear a just and rational relation to the object
sought to be achieved. The court always has to bear in mind the facts and circumstances of the
case in order to judge the validity of classification.62

62 Supra at 29.

P a g e | 33

Thus the doctrine of Reasonable Classification can rightly said to be the guardian of equal
protection clause. It provides both, the scope as well as the restrictions for legislative and
executive action while protecting the essence of the equal protection clause as seen in Indian as
well as American Constitutional jurisprudence. Though the court may have erred in some
instances in their opinion, but the Supreme Court have been fundamentalising the doctrine since
post-constitutional period in such a way that now if the equal protection clause is looked upon in
the absence of interpretation of Reasonable Classification it looks too vague to provide any
guidelines for legislative and executive action or to safeguard the right to equal protection of
This study helped me in better understanding of the doctrine of reasonable classification as well
as its extensions along the line of judicial precedents which made the interpretation of the
equality clause meaningful.

Constitutional Law Of India, H.M Seervai, 4th Edn, Vol.2.

Commentary On The Constitution Of India, D.D. Basu, 9th Edn, Vol.2.


Lachmandas Kewalram Ahuja v. State of Bombay (1952) 54 BOMLR 854

Chiranjit lal v. Union of India, 1950 SCR 869.
In re Special Courts Bill 1978, AIR 1979 SC 478.
Kathi Ranning Rawat v. State of Saurashtra, AIR 1952 SC 123.
Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978) 2 SCR 621.
Shri Ram Krishna Dalmia v. Justice S.R. Tendolkar, (1959) S C.R. 279, 296.
State of W.B. v. Anwar Ali, 1952 SCR 284 (320).
Tigner v. Texas, (1940) 310 US 141
UOI v. K.S. Subramaniam, AIR 1976 SC 2433.


www. Manupatra. Com