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RBI Is ‘State’ Under Article 12; Private Banks Discharging Public Functions Amenable To Writ Jurisdiction: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court has held that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is “State” under Article 12 of the Constitution and thus, a writ petition is maintainable against it. The judgment delivered by a Single Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya further states that even private banks cannot seek refuge of being non-State actors, for the purpose of challenging maintainability of a writ petition against them, as their functions pertain to discharge of public duties. The Single Bench ruled, “Since the Reserve Bank of India is an instrumentality of the State, it comes squarely within the meaning of “State” as contemplated in Article 12 of the Constitution. Thus, the writ petition is maintainable.” It added, “the functions discharged by the respondent no.4-Bank [IndusInd Bank] are of a public nature and, as such, pertain to the discharge of public duties.”

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