Written by: Prathiksha M
India's constitution not only gives citizens basic rights but also places a responsibility on the government to ensure that basic rights are protected. The court by its definitions has expanded the scope of the term State to include a variety of legal and non-legal structures under its definition. It is necessary to know what comes within the definition of the state is, to give to the person to whom it is entrusted to exercise that right. The definition of a state under Article 12 contains much meaning but does not have specific meanings, like local authorities, government authorities, other authorities, etc.
The term “state” is interpreted by the courts in each case as per times, it has got a wider meaning, as a state under article 12 is an inclusive definition.
In this article, you will see about the case Tekraj Vasandi v. Union of India , what happened to the petitioner and why did the petitioner file a case, what was the judgment given by the court, what constitutional provision was included in this case and the detail of the article which deals with and if “State” comes under Article 12 or not 1  AIR 469 State under Article 12 with case interpretations.
The court, in this case, investigated many cases and then gave the judgment of Tekraj Vasandi v. Union of India, first the court looked into the University of Madras v. Shanta Bai (1954) the SC interpreted the term “ejusdem generis” which means “of the same kind” that is those who come under governmental and sovereign function can come under other authorities.
So, the court said that it is read with Article 12 to understand other authority, here the other authority is those that functions are on behalf of the Central or State Government.
This case was overruled by Ujjambai v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1962) here the Supreme Court said that when we take a term like “other authority” using “ejusdem generis” it narrows and restricts the interpretation. To use the term “ejusdem generis” there must be some rationale considerations, that we must make there should be some connection between the words that we are using.
For example, we cannot say State Government and Union Government are the same because of the principle of Ejusdem Generis because there is no common genus, they are the government which is genus but union and state are two different entities by themselves. So, there should be some common connections.
Rajasthan State Electricity Board v. Mohan Lal (1967) In this case, the Supreme court laid down the test to determine whether the institution can come under the state or not. The dispute arises whether the board come under the state or not, as under Article 12. The Supreme Court said that if there is a particular body that is created under Statute and they perform any governmental or sovereign functions then such authority is other authority.
The test that they laid 2  AIR MAD 67 3  AIR SC 1621 4  AIR SC 1857 Dr. Marri Channa Reddy, ‘other authorities’ (mcrhrdi.gov.in) accessed 12 October 2021 Sushant Sinha ’Rajasthan state electricity v. Mohan Lal’ accessed October 30, 2021 down were:
A has the power to issue direction and any offense against them is punishable by law. The Rajasthan electricity board has the power to issue directions.
B has the power to make rules that would have the statutory effect, because it was a statutory body, whether rule makers are statutory.
C Instrumentality or agency of the state is a very important test that we use for other authorities.
If any authority fulfills all these three points, then the authority can be “other authority.” So, the Rajasthan electricity board comes under “other authorities” and they come under the state. Then with further cases, it was said that if something is considered to be a state instrumentality then it would come under other authorities,
In Sukhdev Singh v. Bhagatram Sardar Singh Raghuvanshi (1975) the supreme court said if any authority is a state instrumentality, then that would be called as other authority.
The supreme court followed the test laid down in Rajasthan State Electricity Board v. Mohan Lal (1967) it said that the Oil and Natural Gas Commission ONGC, Life Insurance Corporation LIC, Industrial Finance corporation IFC all these corporations were created by statute, had the statutory power to make binding rules and regulations and were subject to pervasive control that is the government has a very large role in the functioning of that particular corporation or authority because of which it is called as state instrumentality. So these corporations come under the state. In Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India (1979)7 5  AIR SC 1331 6  AIR SC 1857 7 AIR SC 1628 Gautam Bhatia, ‘what is state’ (indconlawphil.wordpress.com) accessed October 13, 2021, Justice Bhagwati laid down the test for determining when can the authority called “state instrumentality”
a. The main financial assistance for that institution has come from the government, in that case, the authority can be called “state instrumentality” (or)
b. If the aid given by the government covers the entire expenditure of that authority (or)
c. If there is an authority that has a monopoly status that either is protected by the state in some way or is some way or is conferred (or)
d. When the government has major control of how the authorities work, what are the functions being performed by the authority? If everything is decided by the government then it is deep and pervasive state control (or)
e. Whatever function, the authority is doing or carrying it is of such a nature that it is of public importance and it is also related closely to the government functions (or)
f. If the government department is transferred to a corporation still it would be an instrumentality of the state because that particular government department is doing.
If anyone of this fulfills then the authority comes under “state instrumentality” thus, it is stated under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution in Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib (1981) the dispute that arose was whether a regional engineering college established by a registered society can come under state or not. The Supreme Court approved the test laid by Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India (1979) to check if an authority can be called a state instrumentality and the court said that the test given in R D Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India (1979) is not conclusive so they are trying to create more flexibility.
Any authority that has a governmental connection can come under other authority. In Pradeep Kumar Biswas v. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (2002)11 8  AIR SC 487 9  AIR SC 1628 10  AIR SC 1628 11 5 SCC 111 The dispute that arose was whether the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research is state under article 12 of the Indian Constitution or not Here the court set some limitations to Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib (1981) that any registered society has any governmental connection cannot be called as other authority. It must check whether the body is financially, administratively, or functional.
In Zee telefilms v. Union of India (2005), The board of control for cricket in India (BCCI) was not considered a state because it is not completely controlled by the government either financially or administratively or functionally. 12  AIR SC 487 13 4 SCC 649
As I.C.P.S. does not satisfy any test of other authority, I.C.P.S. does not come under the state. The court has set up a standard rule for the authority that has to come under the state under Article 12. In a similar case Chandra Mohan Khanna v. National Council of Educational Research and Training (1982), where the issue was whether the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) comes under the state under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution. Court held that NCERT is a society that is registered under the Societies Registration Act, of 1860. The court said that NCERT is just an advisory organ for the government related to education.
So, it will not come under state. Thus, the court said that this institute is not created under statute and therefore they do not perform any governmental functions, they do not have the power to make rules and regulations moreover they were not subjected to pervasive control where the government has a huge role in the functioning of the corporation. Their share capital is not held by the government, though the institute gets some financial assistance, but not completely from the government neither financially, administratively nor functionally hence they are not “other authority” so they cannot be called as “state” under Article 12 of Indian Constitution.
The institute can come under “state” only if it is an authority within the territory of India or under the Government of India. Institute of constitutional and parliamentary studies (I.C.P.S.) which is registered under the Societies Registration Act is neither an agency nor instrumentality of the state and hence Institute of constitutional and parliamentary studies (I.C.P.S.) will not be “state” of Article 12 of the Indian Constitution. 14  AIR 76 Sushant Sinha, ‘Tekraj Vasandi v. Union of India’ (indiankanoon.org, 10th December) accessed 10 October 2021.
Dr. Marri Channa Reddy ‘other authorities’ (mcrhrdi.gov.in) accessed 7 November 2022.
SCC Online, ‘Tekraj vasandi v. UOI’ (supreme court of India) accessed 7 November 2022.
Sinha Sushant ’Rajasthan state electricity v. Mohan Lal’(indiankanoon.org)
<https://indiankanoon.org/doc/459864/>accessed 7 November 2022.
Sinha Sushant ’Definition of Article12’ (indiankanoon.org)
<https://indiankanoon.org/doc/609139/>accessed 8 November 2022.