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Provided that in giving the consent referred to in section 86, the Central Government may direct that the Ruler may be sued in the name of an agent or in any other name.

The Ruler of a foreign State may sue, and shall be sued, in the name of his State, but the Central Government may, while giving the consent referred to in S. 86 above, direct that the Ruler may be sued in the name of an agent or in any other name. It may be noted that the Ruler has not to be arrayed as a plaintiff or defendant; it is his State that is arrayed as such.

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The provisions of Ss. 86 and 87 are based on the public policy and are imperative. A suit against a Ruler without the consent of the Central Government is only permissible where the plaintiff is a tenant under the Ruler and the suit relates to lands held by him.

Otherwise the permission of the Central Government is mandatory, and when permission has been applied for and refused by the Government, it is not open to the court to question the propriety of the order refusing consent.

Similarly, where consent has been obtained, the certified consent is conclusive evidence that the conditions required for the giving of consent existed, and it is not for the court to go behind the certificate or to entertain an objection on the ground of the absence of the conditions requisite for the grant of sanction by the Central Government, in the absence of special circumstances justifying an investigation into the facts. The court should not ordinarily try for itself what S. 86 has left to the Central Government.

87-A. Definitions of “Foreign State” and “Ruler”:

(1) In this Part,

(a) “Foreign State” means any State outside India which has been recognised by the Central Government; and

(b) “Ruler”, in relation to a foreign State, means the person who is for the time being recognised by the Central Government to be the head of the State.

(2) Every Court shall take judicial notice of the fact—

(a) That a State has or has not been recognised by the Central Government;

(b) That a person has or has not been recognised by the Central Government to be the head of a State.

Suits against Rulers of former Indian States (S. 87-B)

87-B. Application of Ss. 85 and 86 to Rulers of former Indian States:

(1) In the case of any suit by or against the Ruler of any former Indian State which is based wholly or in part upon a cause of action which arose before the commencement of the Constitution or any proceeding arising out of such suit, the provisions of S. 85 and sub-sections (1) and (3) of S. 86 shall apply in relation to such Ruler as they apply in relation to the Ruler of a foreign State.

(2) In this section

(a) “Former Indian State” means any such Indian State as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify for the purpose of this section;

(b) “Commencement of the Constitution” means the 26th day of January, 1950; and

(c) “Ruler” in relation to a former Indian State, has the same meaning as in Article 363 of the Constitution.

The original provisions contained in S. 87-B (1) implemented the assurances given to princes as their privileges at the time of the integration of Indian States. The amended provisions also safeguard the interests of the ruler of a former Indian State to a limited extent. Under the provisions of Art. 363 of the Constitution. ‘Ruler’ includes the Prince, Chief or other person recognised before the commencement of the Constitution by His Majesty or the Government of the Dominion of India as the Ruler of any Indian State.

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