Bommai Case (1994) and the President’s Rule
Q. Which of the following was proposed by the Supreme Court in the Bommai Case (1994)?
1) The burden lies on the Centre to prove that relevant reasons exist to justify the imposition of the President’s Rule.
2) The state legislative assembly should be dissolved only after the Parliament has approved the presidential proclamation.
3) A state government pursuing anti-secular politics is liable to action under Article 356.- Published on 27 Feb 17
a. 1, 3
b. 1, 2
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: All of the above
- The 38th Amendment Act of 1975 made the satisfaction of the President in invoking Article 356 final and conclusive which could not be challenged in any court on any ground.
- But, this provision was subsequently deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978 implying that the satisfaction of the President is not beyond judicial review.
In Bommai case (1994), the following propositions have been laid down by the Supreme Court on imposition of President’s Rule in a state under Article 356 -
1. The presidential proclamation imposing President’s Rule is subject to judicial review.
2. The satisfaction of the President must be based on relevant material. The action of the president can be struck down by the court if it is based on irrelevant or extraneous grounds or if it was found to be malafide or perverse.
3. Burden lies on the Centre to prove that relevant material exists to justify the imposition of the President’s Rule.
4. The court cannot go into the correctness of the material or its adequacy but it can see whether it is relevant to the action.
5. If the court holds the presidential proclamation to be unconstitutional and invalid, it has power to restore the dismissed state government and revive the state legislative assembly if it was suspended or dissolved.
6. The state legislative assembly should be dissolved only after the Parliament has approved the presidential proclamation.
7. Until such approval is given, the president can only suspend the assembly.
8. In case the Parliament fails to approve the proclamation, the assembly would get reactivated.
9. Secularism is one of the ‘basic features’ of the Constitution. Hence, a state government pursuing anti-secular politics is liable to action under Article 356.
10. The question of the state government losing the confidence of the legislative assembly should be decided on the floor of the House and until that is done the ministry should not be unseated.
11. Where a new political party assumes power at the Centre, it will not have the authority to dismiss ministries formed by other parties in the states.
12. The power under Article 356 is an exceptional power and should be used only occasionally to meet the requirements of special situations.