Article 12 : Constitution of India

 

12. Definition.-

In this part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State” includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.

Note:

So in this article constitution provides definition of ‘the state’, the word which is widely used in the various fundamental rights.

State as provided under Article 12 of the Constitution has four components: 
( a ) The Government and Parliament of India- 
Government means any department or institution of department. Parliament shall consist of the President, the House of People and Council of States
( b ) The Government and Legislature of each State 
State Legislatures of each State consist of the Governor, Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly or any of them.
( c ) Local Authorities within the territory of India 
Authority means 
( i ) Power to make rules, bye- laws, regulations, notifications and statutory orders. 
( ii ) Power to enforce them. 
Local Authority means Municipal Boards, Panchayats, Body of Port Commissioners and others legally entitled to or entrusted by the government, municipal or local fund.
( d ) Other Authorities 
Authorities other than local authorities working 
( i ) Within the territory of India or; 
( ii ) Outside the territory of India.

In Sukhdev v/s Bhagatram , LIC , ONGC ANDIFC were held to be State as performing very close to governmental or sovereign functions. The Corporations are State when they enjoy 
( i ) Power to make regulations; 
( ii ) Regulations have force of law.
( e ) Clearance of five tests

*In Ajay Hasia v/s Khalid Mujib the Court observed that the test to know whether a juristic person is State is not how it has been brought but why it has been brought.
( g ) Clearance of five tests
In Union of India v/s R.C.Jain, to be a local authority, an authority must fulfill the following tests- 
( i ) Separate legal existence. 
( ii ) Function in a defined area. 
( iii ) Has power to raise funds. 
( iv ) Enjoys autonomy. 
( v ) Entrusted by a statute with functions which are usually entrusted to municipalities.

The word ‘State’ under Article 12 has been interpreted by the courts as per the changing times .It has gained wider meaning which ensures that Part-III can be applied to a larger extent.

(Courtesy: legalserviceindia.com)

 

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