Indian Constitution defines “Right to Equality” guaranteed under Article 14, as; “Equality before law,” and reads as follows, “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” (Singhvi, 2008) Article 14 read along-with Article 21 i.e. ‘Right to life,’ has acquired a much broader meaning with the broadest possible concept of equality among all. This concept of equality certainly extends to ‘equal rights for all people to enjoyment and use of nature’s gifts.’ The Indian Supreme Court has upheld it many a times and often interpreted this right as overriding the rights of artificial juristic persons, i.e. corporate engaged in purely economic activities.
The question to be considered here is, “Is this right to equality is limited to people living/existing presently or does this right extend and transcend future generations too?” Is it to be inferred that a person yet to be born after 200 years also have the same right over nature? Does this mean that equality has to be maintained across generations too? Therefore, is this inter-generational equality not only a basic human-right but also an enforceable legislative and constitutional right? Can we monetize and attach a notional value to something which does not belong to us? How can a future generation, due to come after 200 or 500 years ensure equality with present generation? Is this inter-generational ‘Right to Equality’ enforceable, and can it be effectively legislated? How can the levels of this inter-generational equality be calculated?