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Article 12 of Indian Constitution

Article 12–“State ‘ include the following–executive and legislature of Union and State; all Local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of government of India.”

Evidently this definition is inclusive and provides that STATE includes following:

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

Government and Parliament of India.

1. The term “State” includes Government of India i.e. Union Executive and Parliament of India i.e. Union legislature. The term ‘Government’ stands include a Department of Government or any institution under the control of Department of Government e.g.. the Income Tax Department or the Forest Research Institute. The president while acting in his official capacity must be included in the term government and be regarded as “the State for the purpose of Part III.

2. Government and Legislature of each State: The term “State” includes Government of each State i.e. State Executive and legislature of each State i.e. State Legislature. It includes Union Territories as well.

3. Local or other authorities within the territory of India:

the expression “Local Authorities” is Defined in Section 3 (31) of the General Clause Act, 1897 of follow:–

“Local Authority shall mean a Municipal Committee, District Board, Body of Port commissioners or other authority legally entitled to, or entrusted by the Government, with the control or management of a municipal or local fund.”

The expression “other authorities” has neither defined in the Constitution nor in any Statute. There is much controversy as to the meaning and import of the term “other authorities”.

For the first time the expression “other authorities” was interpreted by the Madras High Court in University of Madras v. Shantha Bai, AIR 1954 Mad 67, Where it was held that the word “local or other authorities” must be construed “ejusdem generis” with the Government or legislature functions. But this view of Madras high Court was not accepted by Supreme Court.

In Rajasthan State Electricity Board v. Mohanlal, AIR 1967 SC 1857, In this apex court held that every constitutional or statutory authority on whom powers are conferred by law is not “other authority” within the meaning of Article 12. He also observed further that it is only those authorities which are invested with sovereign powers, this is, power to make rules or regulations and to administer or enforce them to the detriment of citizen and others that fall within the definition of “State” in Article 12.

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