Later, this version of Article 12 underwent revisions and became Article 18 of the Indian Constitution. Only titles that might affect social equality and lead to injustice among community members are covered by this article.

This clause does not limit the award’s application to Indian nationals for their exceptional achievements in a variety of sectors. Although it is listed in Part III of the Indian Constitution, this Article’s goal is to restrict legislative and executive activity rather than to safeguard Indian citizens’ fundamental rights.

What does Article 18 states ?

Abolition of titles:

(1) No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.

(2) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.

(3) No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State.

(4) No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State.

Analysis of Article 18
  • All titles are abolished under Article 18(1). It forbids the State from bestowing titles on anyone, citizen or not. However, academic and military distinctions are exempt from the rule. So, a university may confer a title or honor upon a deserving individual.
  • A citizen of India is not permitted to accept any titles from any foreign State under clause (2).
  • A person who holds a position of profit or trust but is not an Indian citizen is forbidden by clause (3) from taking any titles from foreign states without the President’s permission.
  • No person, citizen or noncitizen, holding a position of profit or trust is allowed to receive a gift, emolument, or office of any sort from or on behalf of a foreign state without the President‘s permission, according to clause (4)
  • Clauses (3) and (4) have been inserted to make sure that a non-citizen does not violate the trust placed in him by betraying the State.
What does the term ” title” mean?
  • Anything used as a prefix or suffix to one’s identify, such as Sir, Nawab, Maharaja, and so on, is referred to as a “title.” In a democracy, titles and titular accomplishments are not permitted. It will work against the advancement of social justice.
  • The purpose of this Article 18 in our Constitution is to uphold equality for all individuals. Titles relate to any hereditary designations (such as Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, Sawai, Rai Sahab, Zamindar, Taluqdar, and so on) used by persons during the colonial era.
  • The only restriction is that no one will ever use the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, or Bharat Ratna as a prefix or suffix to their names. It also excludes academic and military professions.
Landmark case regarding Article 18
  • In Balaji Raghavan v. UOI, the Supreme Court recognized the legitimacy of civilian medals but chastised the administration for lacking discipline in their distribution.
  • According to this ruling, recipients of national prizes who have exploited them as titles should be stripped of them. The petitioners in this case contested the awards’ conferral on the grounds that it broke Article 18(1).
  • Since the single exception to this criterion has been made in respect of military and academic distinctions, they believed that the word “title” should be given the broadest meaning and amplitude conceivable in order to give effect to the legislative aim.
  • The Union administration (Respondents) argued that because national honors are not nobility titles and cannot be used as suffixes or prefixes, Article 18 does not forbid their usage. Furthermore, awarding citizens for exemplary contributions is a practice that is followed by practically all nations in the world.


  1. […] the eradication of title and the significance of its abolition. In addition to abolishing titles, Article 18 prohibits states from conferring titles on any individual. Only academic and military distinctions […]


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