In Manipur, the opposition is calling for President’s Rule

A political party in Manipur has asked for the resignation of the state government and the installation of President’s Rule immediately in order to begin a peace process under a neutral administration.

What exactly is the President’s Rule?

  • Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, sometimes known as President’s government, gives the President the authority to impose central government in a state if the constitutional system has failed.
  • While it was originally designed for unusual circumstances, central governments have frequently utilised it for political ends.

Article 356 Provisions: Imposition of President’s Rule:

  • Article 356 authorises the President to withdraw a state government’s administrative and legislative powers when it is unable to function in conformity with the Constitution.
  • Triggering factors: The President may invoke Article 356 based on a report from the Governor or on his own initiative if the state’s constitutional apparatus has broken down.
  • It can be imposed for six months at a time and for a maximum of three years.
  • Parliamentary permission is necessary every six months to continue the imposition of President’s Rule.

Historical Background

  • The following is an excerpt from the Government of India Act of 1935: Section 93 of this legislation inspired Article 356, which permitted the Governor of a province to assume the powers of the government in certain circumstances.
  • Controlled democracy: The clause gave provincial governments some autonomy while allowing British authorities to take ultimate control when necessary.

Political Misapplication of Article 356

  • Early examples: During Congress’ supremacy, Article 356 was utilised against Left-wing governments and regional parties in states. It was used six times by Jawaharlal Nehru’s government till 1959, including to depose Kerala’s elected communist government.
  • In ensuing decades, numerous central governments, especially those led by Indira Gandhi and the Janata Party, repeatedly utilised Article 356 against state governments.

S R Bommai Case Sets a New Standard

  • Significant Supreme Court decision: The Supreme Court established specific rules on the employment of Article 356 in the matter of R. Bommai v. Union of India in 1994.
  • Imposition in specific cases: According to the court, President’s Rule can be used in circumstances of physical breakdown of the government or a ‘hung assembly.’
  • Preventing arbitrary use: The court emphasised the importance of allowing the state administration to demonstrate its majority or instances of violent breakdown before adopting President’s Rule.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.