RELEVANT ARTICLE : ARTICLE 12 defines the term ‘State’ .

INTRODUCTION : WHAT IS STATE : It says that unless the context otherwise requires the term ‘State’ includes the following ;-

1. The Government and Parliament of India, i.e., Executive and Legislature of the Union. 2. The Government and Legislature of each State, i.e., Executive and Legislature of State. 3. All local and other authorities within the territory of India. 4. All local and other authorities under the control of the Government of India.


WHY WE NEED SUCH TEST ? There is no common genus running through these named bodies in art: 12 .Thus finally judiciary started to devise various test and they are as follows:-

TEST 1 : In Electricity Board, Rajasthan v. Mohan Lal, the Supreme Court held that the expression ‘other authorities’ is wide enough to include all authorities created by the Constitution or statute on whom powers are conferred by law. It is not necessary that the statutory authority should be engaged in performing governmental or sovereign function.

TEST 2 : S.C. In Pradeep Kumar Biswas v. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and in Rajasthan S.E.B. v. Mohan Lal, “whether in the light of the cumulative facts as established, the body is financially, functionally and administratively dominated by or under the control of Government. Such control must be particular to the body in question.

NOTE : Not all Statutory Bodies can be termed as ‘State’

Both statutory an non-statutory bodies can be considered as a ‘State’ provided they get financial resources from the government and “have deep pervasive control of government and with functional characters.” ONGC, Delhi Transport Corporation, IDBI, and Electricity Boards are referred as a ‘State’. However, entities such as NCERT cannot be considered a ‘State’ as they are not substantially financed by the government control is not pervasive.

WHETHER THE TEST IS TOO NARROW : The terms employed in Art 12 is indeed narrow and vague – especially the terms “ other authorities”. But the judiciary has devised a broad test to include even private actors with state element.

JUSTIFICATION : The judiciary often interprets these terms to suit the needs of the society. It was important to expand the meaning of the state since most crucial fundamental rights can be enforced against the state only.

Although in BCCI case it was held as non-state actor, SC entertained a PIL against deemed university SRM in Dr. Janet Jeyapaul v SRM University, strictly talking by the definition in Art: 12 private players are not state but by judicial test Sc reasoned that deemed universities are state as they impart education at large which is function of state.

Earlier in A.R Antulay Vs Nayak and Others judiciary was termed as state, thus the definition of state under Art 12 was narrow but by the test of judiciary it was widened.

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