The Failure of Constitutional Machinery is nothing but the President’s Rule. President’s Rule means the suspension of State Government and imposition of direct Union Government Rule in a State. The provisions related to President’s Rule has been provided in Indian Constitution under the article 356.
According to Article 356 , the President, on receipt of a report from the Governor of a State or otherwise is satisfied that a situation has arisen, in which the Government cannot be carried on i.e., the Constitutional Machinery is failed, he may issue proclamation for taking over the Government ( President’s Rule).
When a State Government is functioning correctly , it is run by an elected Council of Ministers responsible to the State’s Legislative headed by the Chief Minister known as Vidhan Sabha. But during the President’s Rule. Furthermore, the Vidhan Sabha is either prorogued or dissolved, necessitating a new Elections.
Following the 1994, landmark Judgement in S.R.Bommai Vs Union of India in this case a 9 member Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the dismissal of the B.J.P Governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh in the wake of the Ayodhya Incident of Dec.6,1992 was valid and imposition of the President’s rule in these States was Constitutional. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India restricted Arbitrary impositions of President’s Rule. Chhattisgarh and Telangana are the only States where the President’s rule.
Duration of Proclamation issued under Article 356:-
Clause (3) of Article 356 requires that every Proclamation issued under Article.356(1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament. It is with a view to afford an opportunity to the Parliament to approve the action taken by the Executive in regard to the situation prevailing in the concerned State. Clause (3) further provides that the proclamation so laid before the Houses of the Parliament, shall cease to have effect at the expiration of 3 months unless before the expiration of these 2 months, it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament.
Thus without the approval by the Houses of Parliament, a Proclamation relating to State Emergency can continue vin operation only for 2 months from the date it is made by the President. The maximum period for which a Proclamation can remain in Operation is 3 years from the date it is issued under clause(1) of Article 356. Invocation of Article 356 is subject to criticism on the ground that it is being misused by the center for Political Ends. Since the commencement of the Constitution, President’s Rule has been imposed several times under Article 356.
Political Misuse of Article 356:-
- In its 2015 report, Sarkaria Committee noted that since independence, it has been used over 100 times. In almost all cases it was used for political considerations rather than any genuine problem.
- Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used Article 356 for 27 times to remove majority governments on the ground of political stability, absence of clear mandate or withdrawal of support, etc.
- In 1977, the Janata government removed nine state Congress governments, when they formed the government for the first time.
- Manipur witnessed the most frequent application of Article 356 due to deeply fragmented internal politics of the state, as well as long periods of violence.
- The politically crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, with their fragmented polity, have been on the center’s radar.
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