What is Presidents rule On December 10, 1973, Jalagam Vengala Rao was made the chief minister and Central rule ended. The state was briefly under President’s Rule for 135 days, from November 15, 1954, to March 28, 1955, when the government of the then chief minister Tanguturi Prakasam was reduced to a minority.
Under President’s Rule the state will come under the direct control of the Central government, with executive authority exercised through the Governor instead of a Council of Ministers headed by an elected Chief Minister accountable to the state legislature. During President’s Rule, the Governor has the authority to appoint retired civil servants or other administrators, to assist him. The advisers assume the functions of the Council of Ministers.
According to the Constitution, President’s Rule will be for six months. If necessary, it may be extended for a further six months and under certain circumstances for a maximum of three years.
What’s in the constitution?
The article 356 of the constitution which focuses on the failure of the Constitutional machinery of the State is often termed as the President’s rule. There are various reasons for which President’s rule can be imposed on a State. The failure of the State government to function as per the constitution is the first step towards this. Other factors include the loss of majority, break down of law and order, indecisive outcome of elections, no alternate claimant to form the government, insurgency, defections and break-up of coalition. It can be imposed initially for a period of six months.
Shift in role
The state comes under the direct control of the Central government. The authority shifts from the Chief Minister and the council of ministers to the Governor. The assembly is kept in suspended animation (temporary cessation). The Governor gets the power to appoint retired civil servants and some administrators to assist him who will take on the role and responsibilities of the Council of Ministers.
There was widespread belief that imposition of President’s rule was more to do with the priorities of the Central government than the constitutional crisis. The judgement of the Supreme Court in 1994 gave a clear definition as to when the President’s rule can be imposed on a state thereby paving the way for the state governments to challenge the Centre if it feels that it has been unduly removed.
The Supreme Court held that a state government could be dismissed only under justifying circumstances and laid down guidelines for the same.
This judgement is called the Bommai judgement after the former Karnataka Chief Minister S R Bommai whose government was dismissed by the Centre and the President’s rule was imposed.
The verdict was in response to his challenging the dismissal. Thereafter further pronouncements by the Supreme Court helped limit the number of cases where the President’s rule is imposed drastically.