by | Aug 28, 2023

Article 12 of the Indian Constitution holds significance in delineating the entities considered as “States” for the purpose of enforcing fundamental rights. This expression is rightly defined by the famous case Ajay Hasia v/s Khalid Mujib. This delineation expands the accountability scope, ensuring a broader array of governmental and government-associated bodies adhere to constitutional principles. Here are the primary facets of Article 12:

  1. Governmental Entities: The article explicitly encompasses central and state governments, encompassing executive and legislative branches.
  2. Local Authorities: The term extends to local governing bodies like municipalities and panchayats, fostering grassroots inclusion.
  3. Governmental Corporations: State-owned corporations engaging in public functions are considered “State” under Article 12.
  4. Government-Controlled Bodies: Entities significantly controlled by the government, performing governmental roles, are included, with interpretational nuances.
  5. Instrumentalities and Agencies: Bodies facilitating specific governmental functions are covered, regardless of ownership.
  6. Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: Entities with government-granted powers for such functions can fall under “State.”
  7. Comprehensive Interpretation: Courts sometimes expansively define “State” to involve private bodies executing public functions, extending their rights’ purview.
  8. Rights Safeguarding Objective: Article 12 primarily aims to shield fundamental rights from infringement by governmental and affiliated bodies.
  9. Legal Clarifications: The definition’s interpretation faces legal scrutiny, with court verdicts clarifying its scope.

In essence, Article 12 prevents fundamental rights erosion by subjecting diverse government-like entities to accountability, reinforcing equality, justice, and democracy principles.


Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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