HomeAILET PGLandmark Cases on State: Article 12 for CLAT

Landmark Cases on State: Article 12 for CLAT

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Pradeep Kumar Biswas v Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (2002) (SC)

It was held that there cannot be exhaustive definition of State as the Constitution creates welfare state and in the welfare state, the function of state are highly dynamic and diversified and changes with changing requirement of time. The Sate has to create new mechanisms and new agencies or instrumentalities through which it can perform its functions effectively. At the time of framing the Constitution, it was not practically possible to stipulate various bodies though which State will perform its functions. In fact, even today, it will not be practically to do that stipulation. If a list is given, then every time a new body is created, the Constitution will be required to be amended.​​ In this case, it was held that CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) is State for the purpose of Article 12 of the Indian Constitution.​​ 
It was also held that list given in Ajay Hasia case is not exhaustive and in proper circumstances, more elements can be added to the list.

Ramana Dayaram Shetty v International Airport Authority (1979) (SC)

It was held that the test is not as to how that particular body was created rather it is as to why it was created​​ i.e.,​​ the test is actually regarding the purpose of the body​​ i.e.,​​ what is the purpose that the particular body is performing. It has to be seen as to what function it performs​​ i.e.,​​ does it perform the same function as the as the State has to do or is it some different function. Apart from that and in addition to that, it also has to see​​ as to whether the State has a control upon that body and what is the nature and extent of that control. It is called as instrumentality or agency test.​​ Both tests​​ i.e.​​ functionality test and instrumentality test has to be satisfied simultaneously.

Ajay Hasia v Khalid Mujib Sehravardi (1980) (SC)

Various tests given in this case are:

  • The said body is totally funded by the State.

  • If not totally funded, then a major part of the finance (more than 50% is given by the State.

  • If there is no financial control, then the body is such as has been given autonomy by the State and the State and the State has the power to withdraw that autonomy.

  • There is an absolute administration control of​​ the State wherever the State appoints the other staff and the head of the organization and also can remove them.

  • A ministry has been converted into a company or a corporation.​​ 

  • It performs the same functions as the State performs.

The Court also said that all these tests have to be seen together.​​ 

Zee Telefilms Ltd. V Union of India (2005) (SC)

It was held that Government had no financial or administrative control over the BCCI and hence it is not the State.

Lt. Governor of​​ Delhi v V K Sodhi (2007) (SC)and​​ Chander Mohan Khanna v NCERT (1991) (SC)

In both these cases, it was held that NCERT is not State as there was no financial or Administrative control.

State​​ of Uttar Pradesh v Radhey Shyam Rai (2009) (SC)

Uttar Pradesh Ganna (Sugarcane) Kisan Sansthaan is State as the Government has sufficient financial and administrative control.

Read more CLAT related articles here. 

First published on February 13, 2021. 


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