The Definition of State – Not Expansive Enough

Anandini Saha
O.P Jindal Global University, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The law surrounding the definition of State as laid down by Article 12 of the Indian Constitution has been expanded by the Indian judiciary over the years due the interpretation of the term ‘other authorities’ used in the article. I disagree that the definition provided by the courts is an over-expansive one. Rather, based on the judgement passed by the apex court in Zee Telefilms which was further affirmed by the judgement passed in Cricket Association of Bihar it can be argued that the interpretation of the judiciary was not expansive enough. This paper will elucidate upon the need for an expansive definition while tracing its evolution.

The Indian judiciary has expanded the definition of State under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution over the years through the explanation of the term ‘other authority’. But a grey area in jurisprudence has emerged when it comes to the status of private bodies who arguably have some functional, financial, and administrative control exerted by the State upon them. The definition of State has not yet been expanded to accommodate such private entities within its fold. In the interest of safeguarding the Fundamental Rights of individuals these entities should also be considered State in a step towards achieving equitable and efficient delivery of public services to the masses through private service providers.