Decided on April 07,1983

Rashmikant Ramanlal Soni Appellant
Central Board for Workers' Education Respondents


- (1.) It is clear from the statements made in the affidavit-in-rejoinder of the petitioner, which are net controverted, that the respondent is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. It has been set up with the object of promoting the Workers' education, imparting skills and establishing centres for workers' education, including training in different trades or skills. The objects for which the respondent is established are stated in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Memorandum of Association of the respondent. If on winding up or dissolution of the society there shall remain, after the settlement of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever the same shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the society or any of them but shall be dealt with in such manner as the Central Government may determine. All the members of the first governing body of the respondent were nominated by Central Government. The subsequent Boards are to be constituted under the rules and regulations framed by the Government of India. It is clear from rule 3 which is set out in the affidavit-in-rejoinder that majority of the members of the respondent are nominees of the State Governments or Central Government. Even the members of the respondent, who are co-opted are co-opted by the members who are nominated by the Government of India or the State Governments or by the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, who in turn is appointed by Government of India. Bye-laws are to be framed by the respondent with the approval of the Government of India. Finance of the respondent comes from Government of India, grants made by Government of India are the only or the largest source of income of the respondent. It appears from the 22nd annual accounts for the year 1980-81 that the grant-in-aid of Government of India was the only source of income of the respondent. Respondent performs public functions. It runs Workers' Education Centres at different places for imparting knowledge and skill in different trades to the workmen and also runs Adult Education classes for imparting literacy to them. It performs functions which are to be performed by the 'State' for the purpose of achieving goal laid down by directive policy of Government. It thus performs public functions. Further, on winding-up or dissolution of the respondent society, its surplus is to go back to the Government of India and it is not to be paid or distributed amongst the members of the respondent society. Therefore, applying the test summarised by the Supreme Court in Ajay Hasia's case (AIR 1981 SC 487), the respondent must be held to be an "authority" and, therefore, 'State' within the meaning of the expression in Article 12 of the Constitution of India. Rule made absolute. ;

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