Concept of state under Article 12 of the Constitution of India

Concept of State under Article 12

Introduction of the Concept of state under Article 12 of the Constitution of India: Art. 12 of the Indian Constitution has been used to define the term “State” for the purposes of Parts 3 and 4.

According to Article 12 of the Indian Constitution

‘State’ is defined as follows:

“Unless the context requires otherwise, ‘The State’ means to the Indian parliament and government, as well as the governments and legislative bodies of each state, as well as all local and other law enforcement officials inside India or under the administration of the Indian government.”

As per Art. 12 of the Indian Constitution, the term “state” refers to the Indian government and Parliament: “government” refers to any department, and “parliament” refers to the President, the House of People, and the Cabinet of Ministers.

The governor, the Legislative Assembly, and the Legislative council, or any combination of these three organizations, constitute each state’s government and legislature.

Local Authorities in India’s Territories:

The ability to make rules, by-laws, legislation, notifications, and statutory orders, as well as the authority to enforce them, is referred to as authority.

Local Authority means:

Municipal boards, Panchayati raj, the Port Commissioners’ Body, and others who are legally permitted to or given the responsibility with funding from the Federal government, Municipal, or Local Fund are examples of Local Authorities.

Other Authorities include:

Other than local authorities working: within India’s territory or;

Outside of India’s territory

Judiciary Scrutiny:

The judiciary has interpreted the state in various contexts and at various times in order to give Fundamental Rights a broader dimension.

Commercial activity; or advancement of economic or educational interests

In R.S.E.B ( Rajasthan State electricity board) vs Mohan Lal (AIR -1963)

The court decided that the authority does not have to be executing governmental or sovereign responsibilities to be considered state. It should:

  1. Be established by the Indian Constitution;
  2. Have legislative authority. 

Functions that are extremely similar to sovereign or governmental functions:

In Sukhdev vs. Bhagatram (AIR-1979)

State-owned enterprises LIC, ONGC, and IFC were deemed to be operating close to governmental and sovereign tasks. When corporations enjoy themselves, they become states.

  1. Regulation-making authority; 
  2. regulations have legal power.

Principle of Ejusdem Generis (generally means “of the same type”):

Madras university vs Santa Bai (AIR-1954)

The doctrine of Ejusdem Generis, which means “of like nature,” was established by the Madras High Court. It suggests that all of the authorities are classified as “other authority performing governmental or sovereign responsibilities.”

In Ujjain bai vs Union of India (AIR 1962 S.C.1621)

S.C., on the other hand, denied the concept of Ejusdem Generis. It should be emphasized that the sources cited in Article 12 do not regard a Genus to be a species.

Clearance of five tests:

U.O.I (Union of India) vs R.C Jain (AIR-1981)

An entity must meet the following conditions to be considered a local authority: –

  1. Separate legal exercise.
  2. Different legal exercise.
  3. Has the ability to raise money.
  4. Has a strong sense of independence.

A statute has entrusted it with functions that would normally be entrusted to municipalities.

The object of Authority:

In Ajay Hasia vs Khalid Mujib (AIR-1981)

The test for evaluating whether or not a juristic person is State is not how it was brought, but why it was brought, according to the court.

 As an outcome of the preceding discussion, it is clear that Article 12’s definition of “state” is not exhaustive.

As a result, the term “state,” as defined in Article 12, is understood to include bodies established for the aim of promoting people’s educational and economic interests, as the state now has the authority to engage in any trade or business.

The phrases “The Government & Parliament of India” & “The Government & Legislature of each of the States” clearly refer to the legislative and executive authority at the national level as well as in individual states.

The involvement of all local authorities in the concept is intended to ensure that even those who execute specific government responsibilities do not violate citizens’ fundamental rights.

Whether judiciary is the state or not?

Article 12 makes no explicit provision for inclusion or exclusion from the definition of the term “State”.

When the court acts in its judicial capacity, it is not included in the meaning of the word “other authorities” and so is not a State under Article 12, but when it acts in an administrative capacity, it is included in the meaning of the term “other Authorities” and therefore it is state.

Jurists like H.M. Seervai, V.N. Shukla consider the judiciary to be the state. The Indian Constitution’s Articles 145 & 146 support their viewpoint.

S.C, has the power to make rules controlling court process and practice.

The Supreme Court has the authority to appoint its own staff and servants, as well as to set its very own service conditions.

In Prem Garg vs. Excise commissioner H.P. (AR1963)SC 996

The Supreme Court states that the government has rule-making power over the judiciary. Other jurists contended that because the judiciary isn’t specifically mentioned in article 12, it isn’t the State.

The court stated in Rati Lal vs. State of Bombay (AIR 1954) that the judicial system was not a State for the purposes of Article-12.

In Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Hurra

In this case S.C, decided that the Superior Court of Justice is not within the purview of the State or other authorities under Art. 12 of the Indian Constitution.

Concusion of the Concept of state under Article 12 of the Constitution of India

The concept of ‘State’ under Article 12 is examined in accordance. The term ‘State’ has been construed by the courts at various times. It has grown in importance as the times have changed, providing that Part 3 would be used more broadly.


Article 15

Article 16

Article 17

Article 19

Article 21

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