Based on valueresearchonline screener, I filtered the top "Equity oriented balanced funds" and top "Equity funds excluding sectoral funds" based on last 10 year returns as on 15oct2015. Here are the results.
Considering the risk reward proposition, I think Balanced funds are safer bets ( as they are should supposedly be a able to give a better downside protection, apart from automatic asset allocation benefits between debt and equity plus same tax treatment as equity funds).
The returns from equity funds don't seem extremely superior to balanced funds. My take- unless we see a 2003-7 kind of a bull run, the performance differential between these two categories may be minimal. In a downward/ side ward market, balanced funds might even do better!
# Note:- This is not a recommendation to buy balanced funds. Investors are supposed to consult a financial advisor or do their own research before investing. Past performance of funds cannot be extrapolated to the future ! :-)