Article 12 of the Indian Constitution defines the term ‘State’ and lays down its scope for the purpose of enforcing fundamental rights. This article is significant as it helps to determine the extent of the state’s responsibility in upholding and protecting the fundamental rights of citizens. Let’s dive deeper to understand the nuances of Article 12.
Article 12 of the Indian Constitution states that “In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State” includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.”
The term “State” is a crucial one when it comes to the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution. This is because fundamental rights are only enforceable against the State and not against private individuals or entities. Therefore, it is essential to understand the entities that fall under the definition of the State as per Article 12.
As per the article, the State includes the Government and Parliament of India, the Government and Legislature of each state, and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India. This definition is broad and encompasses a wide range of entities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, public-sector undertakings, and statutory bodies.
Moreover, the definition also covers non-governmental bodies that perform public functions or have some kind of control or financial assistance from the government. This means that even private entities can be brought under the ambit of the State if they fulfill the criteria of performing public functions or receiving government aid.
In conclusion, Article 12 of the Indian Constitution lays down the definition of the term ‘State’ for the purpose of enforcing fundamental rights. Its scope is broad and includes a wide range of entities, including private entities that perform public functions or receive government aid. This article plays a crucial role in ensuring that fundamental rights are protected and enforced by the appropriate authorities.