While the Haryana Congress on Monday passed a resolution demanding imposition of President’s rule in the state in wake of “constitutional breakdown” during the Jat quota violence, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court in 1994 had illustrated the situations which may not amount to failure of constitutional machinery.
A nine-member apex court bench had in SR Bommai v/s Union of India had ruled in 1994 that a situation of maladministration in a state where a duly constituted ministry enjoying majority support in the assembly is in office would not amount to failure of constitutional machinery. “Imposition of President’s rule in such a situation will be extraneous to the purpose for which the power under Article 356 has been conferred. It was made indubitably clear by the constitution framers this power is not meant to be exercised for the purpose of securing good government,” the SC said quoting the report of Sarkaria Commission. Article 356 speaks of provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in states. The apex court said it would also be improper to impose President’s rule in a situation of internal disturbance, not amounting to or verging on abdication of its governmental powers by the state government, where all possible measures to contain the situation by the Union in the discharge of its duty under Article 355 (duty of the Union to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbance), have not been exhausted.
‘Enough justification for prez rule’
Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar when asked about the party resolution in light of the SC ruling said there was enough justification for imposition of President’s rule in Haryana. “Poor law and order situation, breakdown of constitutional machinery, sense of insecurity among residents, damage to property, loss of lives. The state government has failed utterly in controlling the situation. In fact, there is no government of the day,” Tanwar told HT.
BJP MLAS should resign: Hooda
When the attention of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was drawn towards the apex court ruling, he said: “All I am saying is that the BJP MLAs should resign taking moral responsibility of large scale violence and loss of lives. This would lead to imposition of President’s rule.”
The Constitution bench in its ruling said the failure of constitutional machinery may occur in a number of ways which contribute to such a situation are diverse and imponderable.