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President’s Rule in India, Article 356, Grounds of Declaration

President’s Rule

Article 356 of the Indian Constitution provides an explanation of the President’s Rule. According to this Article, the President may issue a proclamation declaring a state of emergency if he determines, after receiving a report from the state’s governor or through other means, that a situation has occurred that makes it impossible for the state’s government to function normally.

The President may declare a state of emergency in such a case by issuing a “proclamation on account of the failure (or breakdown) of constitutional machinery in the State.” ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’ is other names for it. President’s Rule is an important topic of Indian Polity which an important subject in UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

President’s Rule Meaning

Any state that wishes to be under the President’s Rule must first receive the consent of the legislature. Within two months of its issuance, the President’s Rule proclamation must be ratified by both Houses of Parliament. The decision is approved by a simple majority. The President’s Rule is in effect for a six-month trial period first. Later, it can be renewed every six months for an additional three years with parliamentary approval.

The President’s Rule cannot be imposed for more than a year according to restrictions imposed by the 44th Amendment to the Constitution of India (1978). Unless there is a national emergency in India and the Election Commission of India certifies that it is necessary to retain the President’s Rule in the state due to difficulties in conducting assembly elections in the state, it states that President’s Rule cannot be extended beyond one year.

President’s Rule Grounds of Declaration

The Centre is required by Article 355 to ensure that each state’s government is conducting itself in accordance with the law. The Centre takes on this responsibility and, in accordance with Article 356, takes over control of the state’s administration in the event that the state’s constitutional machinery malfunctions. Under Article 356, the President’s Rule may be enacted for one of two reasons, one of which is outlined in Article 356 and the other in Article 365.

The President may issue a proclamation in accordance with Article 356 if he or she decides that a circumstance has arisen that precludes a state’s administration from continuing in accordance with the Constitution. Notably, even without the governor’s report, the president may determine whether or not to act based on the state governor’s report.

It is legal for the president to declare that a situation has arisen in which the state’s administration can no longer be carried out in conformity with the provisions of the constitution under Article 365 whenever a state refuses to obey or implement a directive from the Centre.

President Rule Duration and Parliamentary Approval

A similar proclamation to the National Emergency must be presented to both Houses of Parliament for approval. If clearance isn’t obtained in this situation within two months, the proclamation will no longer be valid. The proclamation will expire thirty days after the date the Lok Sabha first meets following its reconstitution if the Lok Sabha is dissolved during these two months and the Rajya Sabha has approved it, unless the Lok Sabha approves it before the end of this time frame.

A proclamation that has been thus approved terminates its effectiveness six months after the date it was issued, unless it is rescinded. Its lifespan may be prolonged multiple times by six months each, but never for more than three years. After then, the President’s Rule must terminate and the State’s regular constitutional apparatus must be reinstated. The 44th Amendment added a new clause to limit Parliament’s ability to renew a proclamation made under Article 356 for longer than a year.

President Rule Revocation

A later proclamation may rescind or modify any such proclamation. Only the President acting alone may withdraw it. A proclamation made in accordance with Article 356(1) expires in any manner if, after two months, it is not approved by both Houses of the Parliament [Article 356(3)]. If the proclamation is presented to the Houses of Parliament but is not approved by any House, it may be made even earlier than the two-month deadline [Article 356(3)]. After six months have passed after the proclamation’s date, if the House of Parliament has not yet enacted another resolution approving the proclamation [Article 356(4)].

After the passing of six months following the adoption of the most recent resolutions of approval by the House of Parliament, with a maximum period of three years following the date of the proclamation. If the requirements outlined in Article 356(5) are met, the proclamation may be extended for an additional year:

The date the President issues a proclamation of revocation [Article 356(2)]; if a National Emergency is already in effect; or if the Election Commission certifies that the State Assembly election cannot be held.

President’s Rule and Judicial Review

By virtue of the 38th Amendment Act of 1975, the President’s approval to use Article 356 became definitive and binding and could not be disputed in court on any grounds. However, this provision was eventually eliminated by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978, thus the President’s satisfaction is now susceptible to court scrutiny.

President’s Rule Effect

When a state declares an emergency as a result of the constitutional machinery breaking down, the President is given the option of taking on all or any of the state government’s duties personally or delegating them to the governor or another executive authority. The State Legislative Assembly may be suspended or dissolved by the President, who may also delegate legislative authority to the Parliament on behalf of the State Legislature and make any other incidental or consequential provisions required to carry out the purpose of the proclamation.

However, the President is not permitted to suspend any High Court-related constitutional provisions or assume its authority. Citizens’ Fundamental Rights are unaffected.

President’s Rule and Article 356

The hope of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was that Article 356 would be rendered meaningless. However, knowledge has it that Article 356 has evolved into a lethal weapon. It was first used in 1951 (Punjab) and has since been used more than one hundred times.

In response to the 1992 imposition of presidential rule in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan, the Supreme Court in 1994 set rules in the case of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India (9 Judge Bench). Even though the 38th constitutional amendment legislation had rendered judicial review of presidential satisfaction impossible. The same is now open to judicial review thanks to the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act.

President’s Rule Cancelation

Any time in the future, the President may issue a proclamation that nullifies President’s Rule. A declaration of revocation does not require approval from the Parliament. A political party’s leader can formally declare his intention to form the state government by submitting letters attesting to the assembly’s majority support for him. Additionally, the President’s Rule was subject to a number of restrictions for more than a year as a result of the 44th Amendment to the Constitution of 1978.

According to the amendment, the president’s rule in a region can only is extended after a year if India is experiencing a national emergency and the election commission of India declares that it is necessary due to difficulties in holding assembly elections in the area.

President’s Rule Criticism

There are many issues with how President’s Rule was implemented in different periods. Sometimes the circumstances really called for it. But other times, even though that particular party held a majority in the Legislative Assembly, President’s Rule was implemented merely for political reasons to overthrow the government formed by a party other than the one at the Centre.

Due to the Union Government’s partisan thinking, for which Article 356 has been manifestly misapplied, assemblies have been suspended or dissolved and other political parties have not been given the opportunity to establish administrations in states.

President’s Rule UPSC

The possibility of abuse of power exists even if Article 356 is modified while taking into account every suggestion made by the Sarkaria Commission, as the success of any law depends on how well it is implemented. Therefore, when choosing a President’s Rule, a strict interpretation of Article 356 can only be expected to maintain the spirit of “co-federation,” and the union administration should refrain from abusing this power for personal political gain. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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President's Rule FAQs

What is meant by President's rule?

President's rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct Union government rule in a state.

Can President Rule be challenged in court?

Supreme Court held that presidential proclamation is not immune from judicial review.

What is National emergency Article 352?

National emergency could be declared on the basis of "external aggression or war" and "internal disturbance" in the whole of India or a part of its territory under Article 352.

Who is known as custodian of Indian Constitution?

Supreme Court acts as a custodian of Indian Constitution.

What is the role of the President in India?

The primary duty of the president is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.

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