Article 356 - A Dead letter of the Constitution
The S.R. Bommai v. Union of India is considered in the landmark judgements of the Apex Court of India regarding the basic Structure of doctrine & misuse of the power possessed of the Article 356. It had a huge effect on the Centre and state relation. It was been judged by the bench of nine judges. Article 356 says about the imposing of presidential rule over a particular state in India. As per this, it serves the purpose of dismissing the Chief Minister along with ministers & the administration powers directly come into the hand of the Governor of that particular state. The Governor is appointed by the President of the country and like this administration directly comes into the hand of central government. Therefore, due to the presidential rule the concept of federal government is disturbed as it works on the concept of union- state relation where administration is run by the both depending on the factors. This is also against the doctrine of democracy since the elected authority is removed from their work and suspended. Such reasons make usage of this article controversial. It was used time to time in the political history of our country by government of India for suspending state governments based on the reason of rivalry as of opposite parties, trumped excuses or a genuine reason.
The composer of the constitution of India and chairman of Drafting committee Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar said this Article 356 as dead letter in the Indian Constitution. It was been said that this article could be misused for political motives and reason. The chairman of the Drafting committee also stated that as per him this article can’t be called for the operation, it will remain as dead. If anyhow into comes into action, he told the president which had the powers to use that Article would be taking proper and necessary precaution before taking that plan into action and suspension of province’s administration. The two things which were suggested by him to the President before taking this article were to issue a warning to that province of dissatisfaction of working over there in which medium it needed to be done as per constitution of India and if this warning doesn’t prove fruitful the second thing needed to be done which was an election in that state so they can settle their issues by own without interference from central authority. After failing of these things, it was only then such step Article 356 could be used in that state.
This was not any case before the bench judgement in the case of S.R Bommai v. Union of India. The Article 356 was repeatedly misused before that for dismissing the State Government governed by the rival party of Centre. This Article was used on the very huge number of 90 times for suspending the local Government & most of the cases didn’t have genuine reasons or plot for it to be explained & appeared to be suspicion in the eye of law and the constitution.