So far my understanding has been that the government is the driver, the face of the State, and executive, legislature and judiciary are the three branches of the government. That's what I have so far considered to be the case for India too. However, a reading of Article 12 confused me. Here's what it says:

  1. Definition

In this part, unless the context otherwise requires, the State includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.

  • Why does it explicitly writes State includes the Government and Parliament of India?
  • Does Government of India means only the Executive branch? Furthermore, is it same as Union Government?
  • Or, is it used to refer to Union Executive there, because Union Legislature is referred to by name as Parliament of India.

The Wikipedia page for India shows that Government of India has all those three branches.

  • I don't have any expeirence with Indian law or a reference, so a comment rather than an answer, but my reading of that definition is "State = the Government." ALL OF IT. No exceptions or wiggle room. Especially as this seems to be India's version of the US Bill of Rights, i.e. a list of rights and restrictions on governmental power, making sure that all of these restrictions are fully binding on all of the components and pieces of the Indian Government (the US failed to do so, in part because of the initial relationship between the US federal government and states).
    – sharur
    Jan 10, 2019 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


Because India is an inheritor of the laws and customs of England

The government of England was (and technically still is) the Crown and all the people executing the Crown's authority including Ministers of the Crown and Justices. Parliament is a different body independent of the Crown with different powers. The US concept of separation of powers into a tripartite structure of legislature, executive and judiciary is a formalization of a concept that is much more organic in English structures.

  • Sorry, I don't understand. What should I understand out of "Government of India"? And, if possible, could you please address the questions in my list individually?
    – Firelord
    Jan 10, 2019 at 22:29

Dale M is right that India inherits the laws and the customs of England. However the crucial point is that American "the Government" translates into British English as "the State". British English "the Government" translates into American English as "the Executive". Indian English follows British English in this regard.

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