Aishwarya Singh & Meenakshi Ramkumar from Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, comment on the case of Rajbala v. State of Haryana.
The right to vote and the right to contest elections form the basis of any democratic institution. Restricting the right to contest elections on irrational classifications and arbitrary criteria defeats provisions of both democracy and the rule of law. Amendments made to the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 exclude a large section of the population based on discriminatory qualifications from contesting the Panchayat elections. The constitutionality of these amendments was challenged in Rajbala v. State of Haryana, where the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality proposing that amendments satisfied the ‘Classification’ test. In this case comment, the objective is to examine the judgement and conclude that the amendments violate Article 14 of the Constitution. While doing so, we shall also critically evaluate two tests that determine a provision’s constitutional validity viz. (i) the arbitrariness test (substantive due process) and (ii) classification test.