[Answered] What are various conditions for imposition of President rule in a state? Analyse the significance of S.R. Bommai judgement in this context.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Grounds for imposition of President rule. SR Bommai Case and it’s significance.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, state emergency (informally president rule) can lead to suspension of state government and impose direct central government rule in a state. In various circumstances Central government can take direct control of the state machinery. Subsequently, executive authority is exercised through the centrally appointed governor, who has the authority to appoint other administrators to assist them.

Grounds of Imposition of President Rule:

President’s rule has been imposed under any one of the following different circumstances:

  1. When a state legislature is unable to elect a leader as Chief minister for a time prescribed by the Governor of that state.
  2. Breakdown of a coalition leading to the Chief minister having minority support in the house and the Chief minister fails fail to prove majority, within a time prescribed by the Governor of that state.
  3. Loss of majority in the assembly due to a vote of no-confidence in the house.
  4. Elections postponed for unavoidable reasons like war, epidemic or natural disasters.
  5. On the report of the governor if the state machinery/legislature fails to abide by constitutional norms.

S.R. Bommai judgement:

  1. The verdict concluded that the power of the President to dismiss a State government is not absolute.
  2. President should exercise the power only after his proclamation is approved by both Houses of Parliament.
  3. Till then the President can only suspend the Legislative Assembly by suspending the provisions of Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly
  4. The dissolution of Legislative Assembly is not a matter of course.
  5. It should be resorted to only where it is found necessary for achieving the purposes of the Proclamation.

Significance of the S.R. Bommai vs Union of India case:

  1. The case put an end to the arbitrary dismissal of State governments by a hostile Central government.
  2. The verdict ruled that the floor of the Assembly is the only forum that should test the majority of the government of the day, and not the subjective opinion of the Governor, who is often referred to as the agent of the Central government.
  3. Judgment ruled that an improperly dismissed government could be restored to office. Thus it established faith in federalism and judiciary.
  4. In this judgment Supreme Court showed signs of becoming a strong bulwark of constitutional right and propriety.
  5. Bommai doctrine is applied to protect states from discretion and political games of Central government.
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