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A friend of mine recently tried to go into a restobar in India, and to his surprise, was informed that he couldn't because he was a male who was not accompanied by a female. Admittedly shocked, he spoke to the manager of that restobar to find out why, and was informed that due to other peace-disturbing, presumably single males (who caused fights and such), they had to implement such a rule.

This restobar is privately owned, but is open to the public without restriction (i.e. doesn't require membership like a club, and such).

I understand that almost every place of entertainment across the globe displays this "Rights to admission reserved" disclaimer. However, the second clause of Article 15 of the Constitution of India says:

No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to -

  1. access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
  2. the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of general public.

And then clause three of the same article goes on to say:

Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.

Thus, by my understanding, the above-mentioned restobar's rule of not allowing single males in is illegal according to the Constitution of India.

Am I correct to arrive at this conclusion? Or are there any additional relevant laws that I may have overlooked?

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Article 15(2) of the Indian Constitution prohibits restriction to any citizen of India on entry to a public hotel, restaurant or place of entertainment on the grounds "only of religion, race, caste, sex [and/or] place of birth". It is a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens of India.

The Supreme Court of India has held a "public place" to mean any place which is open to the public and to also include private places functioning to serve a non-exclusive group of people. Hence, a club or premise opened only to serve its affiliates or members shall not be considered a public place for the purpose of this provision of law.

Hence, if a citizen of India is not denied admission purely on the basis of his/her religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, his admission to a restaurant or a hotel owned and operated by the government or private concerns may be prohibited as the rights of admission may be reserved with the management of the premises.

Just to conclude you can sue the hotel for denying entry

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    Can you please elaborate by your statement '.. you can sue the hotel for denying entry' ? I understand that the concerned high court can be approached under article 226 of the Indian constitution to get the discriminatory rule of admission quashed. Is there also a civil remedy or criminal case made out here ? – user90041 May 9 '18 at 21:30
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I don't know Indian law, but I will answer as an American for legal concept.

Discrimination against people for race, caste, sex, religion etc. is for permanent conditions, and therefore disallowed. Not having a female escort is a temporary condition that can be easily remedied.

In America, there is also something called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). That is you can discriminate in job roles if the job actually requires it; e.g. you can require that a priest in a church or temple be of a certain faith, but not the janitor, because "faith" is not required for the janitor's job. Similarly, the restobar can claim that its experience is that unescorted men cause more trouble than escorted men, and therefore having an escort is a "bona fide" qualification.

  • Insightful answer. Thank you. I am still unable to find mentions of these permanent and temporary conditions in the Indian constitution, so I'd rather wait for someone who knows more about Indian law to clear this up for me! – Anish Ramaswamy Jun 29 '15 at 1:54
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    But the requirement to have a female companion is applied only to males, which discriminates against males on the basis of sex. – phoog Jun 25 '16 at 17:39
  • @phoog: First, they can make it apply to females. Second, they can cite "experience" (past statistics), which in the U.S. is legitimate grounds for discrimination. – Libra Jun 25 '16 at 17:42

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