Misusing of Article 356 for Political Existence
Misusing of Article 356 for Political Existence
Politics is always a hot topic in India. From the office to tea corner everyone talks about politics.
India is a parliamentary democratic republic country and it has had a vast number of political parties during its record under a democratic administration. India pursues the double government that comprises of the central government at the centre and state governments at the perimeter. Before the independent, politics and India was strongly connected even India has the witness of many political histories. In India, politics is strongly involved in social and economical issues.
With the growing years, the number of terrible politics also increased. The impact of this awful politics is visible in every sector of India even this impact is also visible in the Constitution of India.
What is Article 356?
Article 356 of the Constitution of India is a power that endows the President of India to rescind from the Union the executive and legislative powers of any state if he is satisfied that a situation has ensued in which the government of the state cannot be ensured by the provisions of the Constitution.
Father of Constitution B.R.Ambedkar proclaimed Article 356 as the dead letter. Article 365 of the Constitution of India is an expansion to the emergency powers of President. It deals with the subject of constitutional break down or the delinquency of constitutional machinery. According to Article 365, summoning comes under the primacy of the executive and not the judiciary. Article 356 of the Indian Constitution lay down that President rule can be assigned in any state of India on grounds of failure of Constitutional machinery. The failure is of two types which are stated below:
• If President of India on notice of the report by Governor of a State is satisfied that the crisis has arisen in which government of that state cannot be held by provisions of the Constitution then-President Rule can be assessed.
• Article 365 of Constitution of India asserts that every state of India shall acknowledge with all directions given by Union on substances it certifies to do so. If any state fails to fulfill with directions of the union then-President Rule can be assessed.
Article 356 is also called State Emergency or Constitutional Emergency.
Provisions of Article 356:-
Article 356 enshrined in the Constitution of India as a special power to the President of India. It gives the President of India a power to rescind state government and assign the President’s rule in any state of India if he is satisfied that the circumstance has happened in which the state government cannot be kept by the provisions of the Constitution.
After the declaration of Article 356, the state will fall under the direct supervision of the union government, and the Governor will resume heading the proceedings, embodying the President of India, the Head of the State.
The state will have then no Council of Ministers. The imposition of the President’s rule compels the authorization of both the upper house and lower house of Parliament of India.
After the approval from both houses, the President’s rule can go on for six months to three years.
Historical background of Article 356:-
Article 356 has an important role in the country since it was added in the Constitution of India. Article 356 is established on Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935. The Governor-General Lord Mountbatten on 14th August 1947, in the exercise of his powers under Section 8 (2) of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, made India adopting the Government of India Act, 1935 with significant transformations, as a temporary Constitution of India while the Constituent Assembly was at endeavor on a new Constitution.
This Order of Governor-General excluded the hated Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935. Therefore, from 15th August 1947 – 25th January 1950, India was regulated without any provision in its constitution for Governor’s rule or Governor-General’s rule. This five months period had observed communal violence, refugee inpouring, the Telangana armed upheaval etc. Section 93 of the Government of India Act was therefore proved dispensable for two and a half years.
Thus Article 356 was approved by the Constituent Assembly pretence in mind the erratic circumstances India was passing through.
Misuse of Article 356:-
Political misuse and Article 356 are well-known to every Indian. Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi used Article 356 for 50 times in her 16 years of political power to eliminate plurality governments on the ground of political peace, scarcity of clear statute and secrecy of support.
Article 356 imposition of President’s rule was first obtained in Punjab month of June 1951. Since the imposition of President’s rule it has been used 115 times. Article 356 was assessed in 12 states in 1977 after the Janata alliance came to the position. This persist the record for a sole year in 1977 till date. In 1980 the president’s rule was assessed in 9 different states after former Indira Gandhi came back to power as prime minister. In 1992 Article 356 was obtained in 6 different states and in 1971 President’s rule was used in 7 states comprising thrice in Orissa.
From 1971 to 1990, Article 356 was used 63 times. It was used 49 times from 1970 to 1980, promoting the polarized political atmosphere. Article 356 was used as political equipment during those times.
From 1991 to 2010, the president’s rule was used 27 times. In 1991 to 1992, it was used 9 times. The use of Article 356 came down rather follow the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in 1994 the SR Bommai case. From 2011 to 2016, Article 356 has been used 5 times.
Manipur has seen the most often plea of the imposition of Article 356. The deeply fragmented interior politics of Manipur, long duration of riot, have frequently allowed the government to inflict its ruling on the state. Also, the politically critical states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with their fragmented polity, have been on the central government’s radar for long.
On the matter of Article 356, The Sarkaria Commission in 1983 has suggested that Article 356 of Constitution of India must be used extremely sparingly, in drastic cases, it is used as a criterion of last resort when all the other options fail to deter the deterioration of constitutional machinery in the state.
SR Bommai Vs. Union of India case:-
Article 356 of the Constitution of India is one of the crucial provisions on the enormous preponderance of the perplexing cases specifying with the domain of Center-State relations. SR Bommai Vs. Union of India is the landmark case of Article 356.
S.R. Bommai was the former Chief Minister of the Janata Dal government in the state of Karnataka. Janata Dal government was ousted on 21st April 1989, under Article 356 of the Indian constitution and President’s Rule was assessed. The acquittal was on grounds that the Bommai’s government had lost preponderance following the large-scale desertions planned. Then-Governor declined to authorize Bommai to test his preponderance in the assembly despite the latter introducing him with a copy of the determination passed by the Janata Dal Legislature Party.
Bommai’s Janata Dal party filed a case against the Governor’s decision to recommend President’s Rule in the Supreme Court of India.
Issues: The SR Bommai case brought up issues on the declaration of the President’s rule (Article 356) in Karnataka. The Supreme Court had to argue the grounds and the degree of the imposition of President’s rule in a State. Issues were also brought up whether the imposition of President’s rule is challengable.
Judgement: In the said case the Supreme Court held some guidelines for the president’s rule that is the power of the President to deport a state government is not absolute.
It held that the President should use Article 356 only after his declaration of assessing President’s Rule has been authorized by the upper house and lower house of the Parliament.
Until then, the President can only postpone the Legislative Assembly. If the declaration does not get the authorization of both the Houses, it ends at the end of a time of two months and the dismissed government is renewed.
The suspended Legislative Assembly also receives reactivated.
The apex court also declared that the declaration of the imposition of Article 356 is subject to judicial review.
On 27th March 2016 in Uttarakhand the President of India Pranab Mukherjee declared state emergency under Article 356 of the Constitution of India on reports of Uttarakhand assembly Speaker Govind Kunjwal disqualifying 9 rebel Congress MLAs, President rejected the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat and seated the assembly under discontinued animation on the guidance of the Union Cabinet.
Article 356 is an important provision enshrined under the Constitution of India. Since independence, it was used many times although the father of the Constitution claimed it a dead letter. Article 356 used as a weapon of the central ruling party against the state government. However, the President’s rule requires to be used in adequate issues otherwise it damages the essential aspects of the Constitution. It required to be comprehended that only the essence of harmony can maintain the balance between the Union and the State.
By Shreeparna Goswami
 President Rule: A DEAD LETTER, https://iasscore.in/national-issues/president-rule-a-dead-letter.
 Article 356 of the Constitution, www.legalaffairs.gov.in.
Constitution of India, https://www.constitutionofindia.net/historical_constitutions/government_of_india_act_1935_2nd%20August%201935.
 How President’s Rule in India has been imposed over the years https://www.livemint.com/Politics/SJ3mETZ7H1cjKNlodkcM8O/How-Presidents-Rule-in-India-has-been-imposed-over-the-year.html.
 President’s rule in Uttarakhand; Congress says ‘murder of democracy’ – The Hindu, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/President%E2%80%99s-rule-in-Uttarakhand-Congress-says-%E2%80%98murder-of-democracy%E2%80%99/article14177982.ece.