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Report No. 145

5.8. Relevance of "public" character.-

At the risk of some repetition, let us emphasise the proposition that it is the public character of the undertaking that supplies the rationale for equating it with "State", for the purposes of certain provisions of the Constitution. If the dealings of the undertaking are of a public character, certain norms can be justifiably applied and made binding on the undertaking, while conducting those dealings. The community has a legitimate interest in ensuring fairness in such dealings.

Again, leaving aside the aspect of dealings, if the funds of the undertaking come substantially from the Government, the community can be regarded as having an interest in the manner in which the business is conducted with the aid of those funds. Similarly, if the broad range of functions performed by the undertaking (even where it is not entering into contract, as such, on frequent occasions) partakes of the character of public welfare, no one can deny that certain principles must be observed.

Article 12 of the Constitution and Public Sector Undertakings Back

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