The Public Function Test, Mr. Harish Salve

We record our deep sense of appreciation for the valuable assistance rendered by Mr. Harish Salve. According to him, while deciding the question as to whether the Writ lies under Article 226 against any person, juristic body, organization, authority etc., the test is to examine in the first instance the object and purpose for which such body/authority/organization is formed so also the activity which it undertakes to fulfill the said object/purpose. Mr. Harish Salve submitted, there has been a consistent view that the approach of the Court while deciding such issue is always to test as to whether the concerned body is formed for discharging any “public function” or “public duty” and if so, whether it is actually engaged in any public function or/and performing any such duty. If the aforesaid twin test is found present in any case then such person/body/organization/authority, as the case may be, would be subjected to Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226. We find force in the submissions urged by Mr. Harish Salve.”

Hon’ble Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Dr. Janet Jeyapaul v. SRM University, [Civil Appeal No. 14553 of 2015].