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Article 14:

The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

"...fundamental rights conferred by Part III are not distinct and mutually exclusive rights... Now, if a law depriving a person of ' personal liberty' and prescribing a procedure for that purpose within the meaning of Article 21 has to stand a test of one or more of the fundamental rights conferred under Article 19 which may be applicable in a given situation, ex hypothesi it must also be liable to be tested with reference to Article 14....  The principal of reasonableness, which legally as well as philosophically, is an essential element of equality or non-arbitrariness, pervades Article 14, like a brooding omnipresence and the procedure contemplated by Article 21 must answer the test of reasonableness in order to be in conformity with Article 14."

"To impound the passport of a person is a serious matter since it prevents him from exercising his right to go abroad and such a drastic consequence cannot in fairness be visited without  observing the principles of audi alteram partem.  Any procedure which permits impairment of the constitutional right... without giving a reasonable opportunity to show cause cannot but be condemned as unfair and unjust... even when the statute is silent, the law may in a given case make by implication and apply the principle.

- The Supreme Court of India in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978) 1 SCC 248 (at 79, 282-284).


Although the Indian Constitution did not incorporate a due process clause, the Court read this requirement into Article 21. It held that depriving a person of life and personal liberty must not only be by procedure established by law, but also by a procedure which is fair, just and reasonable. It held that the principle of reasonable procedure is mandated by the fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and Article 21.



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