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Definition of State
Definition of State
- Article 12 defines the term state. 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.
- The framers of the Indian Constitution have defined the term State to include the following:
- The Government and Parliament of India.
- The Government and the Legislature of a State.
- All local authorities.
- Other authorities within the territory of India, or under the control of the Central Government.
- The definition of State provided under Article 12 is only applicable to Part III.
- The question as to what is other authorities has been cleared by the Hon’ble Supreme Court by defining the criterion as follows, A Body is said to be an instrumentality of the State if :
- if the entire share capital is owned by the Government.
- Financial aid is given by the Government.
- If any functions are controlled by the Government.
- If it performs the public functions.
- If the body enjoys monopoly status as conferred by the State.
- The most important aspect to remember is does the judiciary come under the ambit of definition of State, the answer to this very question is that the judiciary has two types of jobs to perform which is that judiciary has administrative functions and judicial functions.
- Hence, judiciary does not fall under State while it performs its judicial functions but on the other hand it will fall under the definition of State under Article 12 while performing its administrative functions.
- The most important case related to this Article is Ajay Hasia V Khalid Mujib, this case was related to the admission to college. The marks for the interview for admission to college and the selection procedure was challenged on the ground that it is violative of Article 14.
- The Supreme Court pointed out that oral tests should not be relied upon as an exclusive test but may be resorted to only as a supplementary or additional tests and great care must be taken to see that the person who are appointed to conduct the oral interview tests are men of high integrity, qualification and caliber.
- The marks allocated for the tests were 33.5% of the total marks and the court held that the selection procedure was arbitrary and unreasonable. This engineering college was not created under a statue by purely a non-statuary bodies but was registered under Societies Registration Act. Hon’ble Justice P.N Bhagwati from a majority judgement for Constitutional Bench held that such Regional Engineering College also comes within the definition of State under Article 12.
Instrumentality or Agency of the State
Instrumentality or Agency
- The following stages were laid down to determine whether an entity is an instrumentality or agency of the State :
- where the financial assistance of the State is so much as to meet almost entire expenditure of the corporation, it would afford some indication of the Corporation being impregnated with Government character.
- One thing is clear that if the entire share capital of the corporation is held by the government it would go a long way towards indicating that the Corporation is an instrumentality or agency of the government.
- It may also be a relevant factor whether the corporation enjoys monopoly status which is state conferred or state protected.
- Existence of deep and pervasive state control may afford an indication that the corporation is a state agency or instrumentality.
- If the functions of the Corporation of public importance are closely related to governmental functions it would be a relevant factor in classifying the Corporation as a instrumentality or agency of the government.
- Specifically, if a department of the Government is transferred to a corporation it would be a strong factor supportive of the influence of the corporation being an instrumentality or agency of Government.