Case analysis – S. R. Bommai v. Union of India

The judgement of the case date backs to 11th of March, 1994. This case puts an end to the arbitrary dismissal of state government by a central government and also curtails the power of president in dismissing a state government.

FACTS – The Janata Party was the largest party in the Karnataka state legislature to form the government under the leadership of S.R. Bommai. In September 1988, Janata party merged with Lok dal party to form a new Janata dal. The ministry was expanded by the inclusion of more 13 members. Few days later, Janata dal party paralyzed in the legislative assembly. K.R. Molakery produced a letter to the Governor of the state, Pekentanti Venkatsubbaiah allegedly signed by some MLA’s withdrawing their support.

As a result, the Governor sent a report to the President stating that there was a disagreement between the ruling party. He also pointed out that because of the withdrawal of the support of some MLAs, the ruling party did not have the majority in the assembly. Also, he said that it was inappropriate under the constitution for the government to run without majority. Therefore, he suggested that the president should exercise his power under 356 and should claim emergency.
However, the next day, seven of the nineteen legislatures who wrote the letter to the governor sent letters to him stating that their signatures had been found in the letters before them with a poor presentation. In fact, they confirmed their support to the government. With the same effect he sent a telex message to the President. However, the governor again sent another report on the same day stating that the Chief Minister has lost its majority in the legislative assembly and the previous request should be fulfilled. The request was then approved by the president.
JUDGEMENT – A letter of complaint was filled on April 26,1989 against the validity of the proclamation. A special 3- judge panel of Karnataka High Court withdrawn the application. The matter went to the Supreme Court. The SC set aside the judgement of the Karnataka High Court and restored the dismissed state government of Karnataka declaring that the proclamations issued was unconstitutional.

CONCLUSION – The Court’s decision was proved to be the most appropriate to curb the problem of misuse of power by the executive. The Court described Federalism and Secularism as a part of basic structure. It also overruled the judgment given in the State of Rajasthan, which stated that the President’s decision is not a matter of judicial review and it should be decided by the central government alone.

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