1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

S.R. Bommai Judgement (1994) of SC completes 30 years

Why is it in the news?

  • R. Bommai judgement, rendered by a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court in 1994, marks its 30th anniversary.
Background of the Case

·       Originated from the recommendation of Karnataka’s Governor in 1989 to impose President’s Rule after the withdrawal of support by 19 MLAs.

·       The case also encompassed similar situations in several other states including Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.


Key Highlights of the Judgement

  • The S.R. Bommai judgement defined the scope of Article 356 of the Constitution, which pertains to the imposition of President’s Rule.
  • It established restrictions on the use of Article 356, stating that President’s Rule can only be imposed on a state in the event of the failure of the constitutional machinery.
  • Proclamation for President’s Rule must receive approval from both houses of Parliament within two months; otherwise, it lapses.
  • Additionally, the continuation of President’s Rule requires approval every six months to remain in force.
  • The President’s power to dismiss a state government is subject to judicial review for illegality, malafide, abuse of power, or fraud.
  • Overruled the judgement of State of Rajasthan vs Union of India (1977), emphasizing limitations on presidential discretion.
  • Dissolution of the state legislative assembly can only occur after parliamentary approval; until then, the assembly can be suspended.
  • Failure to obtain parliamentary approval within two months leads to automatic reinstatement of the suspended government.

Significance of the Judgement

  • Restricts the arbitrary exercise of power by Governors, ensuring they act within constitutional bounds and do not misuse their authority.
  • Reinforces the principles of federalism by delineating clear boundaries in centre-state relations, preserving the autonomy of states within the Indian Union.
  • Affirms the importance of the legislative assembly as the ultimate test of a government’s majority, safeguarding democratic principles and the will of the people.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading