Relevant legal provision | Article 356 of the Constitution of India empowers the President to suspend state government and impose President’s rule on any state in the country .
When it could be done ?
On receipt of a report from the Governor of a State,
The President is satisfied that the administration of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with constitution
Due to this break down of constitutional machinery of the State, assume all or any of the functions of the State Government.
Thus, situations that can be treated as the ones that can lead to a breakdown of the constitutional machinery:
No party in the Assembly has a majority in the State Legislative Assembly to be able to form the government.
A government in office loses its majority due to defections and no alternative government can be formed.
A government may have majority support in the House, but it may function in a manner subversive of the Constitution.
The State Government does not comply with the directions issued by the Central Government under various constitutional provisions.
Security of the State may be threatened by a widespread breakdown of law and order in the State.
When the government indulges in corruption.
ANALYSIS |Below are the famous instances amongst many where Art. 356 had been used include:
Article 356 was used 27 by Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi remove majority governments on the ground of political stability, absence of clear mandate or withdrawal of support, etc.
In 2018, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned following withdrawal of support by coalition partner BJP. In this situation, The Governor of Jammu & Kashmir issued a proclamation on 20.6.2018 with the concurrence of the President of India. The proclamation ceased on 19.12.2018 after six months. Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of such Proclamation after six months. Hence, a Resolution approving the subject Proclamation by President was passed in the Lok Sabha on 28.12.2018 and in the Rajya Sabha on 3.1.2019. Thereafter, with the revocation of Article 370, the emergency was automatically suspended.
These incidents show that the Centre takes a broad view of Art. 356 and feels justified in intervening in a State in case of constitutional breakdown, but, use of Art. 356 by the centre has been frequently criticized on the grounds that it has been misused by the political party in power at the Centre to promote its own political interests in the State rather than to meet the situation arising out of the breakdown of the constitutional machinery therein.
BIHAR ISSUE | For instance, in the case of Rameshwar Prasad v. Union of India (2006), dissolution of the Bihar legislative assembly in 2005 by the President on the basis of Governor’s report, which recommended dissolution on extraneous considerations, was held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. As the assembly election had resulted in a fractured mandate, it was contended by the governor that many defections and disqualifications could follow. The apex court held that it is for the Speaker to decide about the possible disqualification of members, if they violate the Anti-Defection Act.
In relation to this material issue of misuse of Article 356, another incident of Use or Misuse of Article 356 by the Judiciary can be observed when the Supreme Court stayed an Andhra Pradesh High Court order that sought to convene a judicial inquiry into whether there is a “constitutional breakdown” in the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government in the State.
ANDHRA PRADEAH ISSUE | In this case, the Andhra Pradesh HC directed the senior counsel of the state to come prepared to assist the court in examining that whether in the circumstances in Andhra Pradesh the court can record a finding that there is constitutional breakdown in the state or not. On the order of HC, the state government contested court's power to suo moto examine constitutional breakdown.
To conclude, it needs to be emphasized that in exercising this power, the Centre as well as the judiciary ought to be very careful otherwise an injury may be caused to the federal fabric which envisages different political parties being in power at the Centre and the States.FOR LATEST UPSC LAW OPTIONAL MAINS COURSE CLICK HERE