A State Electricity Board constituted under Electricity (Supply Act), 1948 had taken action against its employees. They approached the High Court for certain remedies for violation of Fundamental Rights. It was contested by the Board that the Board is not “State” and hence not amenable to fundamental rights. Decide.
Art. 12 of the Indian Constitution defines the term ‘State.’ The term ‘State’ includes the following-
- The Government and Parliament of India, i.e., Executive and Legislature of the Union.
- The Government and the Legislature of each State. i.e., Executive and Legislature of States.
- All local or other authorities within the territory of India.
In Electricity Board, Rajasthan v. Mohan Lal, AIR 1967 SC 1857, the Supreme Court held that the expression other authorities is wide enough to include all authorities created by the Constitution or statute on whom powers are conferred by law. It is not necessary that the statutory authority should be engaged in performing a governmental or sovereign function. On this interpretation, the expression ‘other authorities’ will include Rajasthan Electricity Board.