President's Rule in Puducherry
Recently, the President’s rule was imposed in the Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry and the Legislative Assembly was placed under suspension.
What is the President's Rule? Discuss the controversies related to it.
President’s Rule in a State:
● The President’s Rule is imposed through the invocation of Article 356 of the Constitution by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers
● President’s rule has been imposed under any one of the following different circumstances such as the report of the governor if the state machinery/legislature fails to abide by constitutional norms or Loss of majority in the assembly due to a vote of no-confidence in the house.
Impacts of President’s Rule:
● The state governor, on behalf of the President, carries on the state administration with the help of the chief secretary of the state or the advisors appointed by the President.
● The President can declare that the powers of the state legislature are to be exercised by the Parliament.
● The President either suspended or dissolved the state legislative assembly.
Recommendations on President's Rule:
● The Administrative Reforms Commission (1968) recommended that the report of the governor regarding the President's rule has to be objective and also the governor should exercise his own judgment in this regard.
● The Sarkaria Commission (1988) recommended that Article 356 should be used in very rare cases when it becomes unavoidable to restore the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the State.
● S.R. Bommai Judgment (1994).
➢ The Supreme Court enlisted the situations where the exercise of power under Article 356 could be proper.
➢ One such situation is that of ‘Hung Assembly’, i.e. where after general elections to the assembly, no party secures a majority.
● Justice V.Chelliah Commission (2002) recommended that Article 356 must be used sparingly and only as a remedy of the last resort after exhausting all actions under Articles 256, 257 and 355.
● The Punchhi Commission (2007) recommended that these Articles 355 & 356 be amended. It sought to protect the interests of the States by trying to curb their misuse by the Centre.