Constitution of india: Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability

Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability

“Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law.

Background

Article 11, Draft Constitution, 1948 "Untouchability" is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of "Untouchability" shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law. Draft Article 11 (Article 17) was debated on the 29th of November 1949. It abolished the practice of untouchability. One member proposed an amendment to clarify the definition of the term ‘untouchable’ to make it explicitly applicable to caste- and religious-based untouchability. He argued that if the term was undefined, the provision was likely to be misinterpreted. Another member agreed with this, contending that the Draft Article as it stood could be construed as prohibiting the government from regulating the quarantine of individuals with communicable diseases. The amendment was rejected by the Assembly. The Draft Article was adopted on 29th November 1948.

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