The term ‘State’ has been used in different provisions concerning the fundamental rights under Part III. Hence, Article 12 has defined the term for the purposes of Part III.
According to it, the State includes the following:
- Government and Parliament of India, that is, executive and legislative organs of the Union Government.
- Government and legislature of States, that is, executive and legislative organs of the State Government.
- All local authorities, that is, municipalities, panchayats, district boards, improvement trusts, etc.
- All other authorities, that is, statutory or non-statutory authorities like LIC, ONGC, SAIL, etc.
Thus, State has been defined in a wider sense to include all its agencies. According to the Supreme Court, even a private body or an agency working as an instrument of the State falls within the meaning of the ‘State’ under Article 12.