February 20, 2024

The sr bommai case related to Article 356 of the Indian Constitution was rendered in the 1994 case of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India. Understanding the complexities of the center-state relationship and the theory behind the fundamental construction of the Constitution requires an understanding of this case, which is crucial. It clarified the parameters of Article 356’s application and its scope, which in turn assisted in addressing a number of intricate center-state relations difficulties. It also outlined the president’s and governor’s duties as well as the fundamentals of the federal government.

The sr bommai vs union of india case summary

SR Bommai vs Union of India Case Facts:

  • From August 13, 1988, to April 21, 1989, Sr. Bommai served as the chief minister of the Janata Dal government in Karnataka.
  • On April 21, 1989, his government was overthrown in accordance with Article 356 of the Constitution, and the president’s rule—then primarily party-based, was instituted to quell the opposition party.
  • The reason for the expulsion was that numerous party leaders of the time orchestrated widespread defections, which resulted in the government losing its majority.
  • The letter presented Governor P. Venkatasubbaiah with a copy of the resolution approved by the Janata Dal legislative party, but he declined to give him a chance to test his majority in the assembly.

SR Bommai vs Union of India Case Issues:

  • Was the declaration issued in accordance with Article 356 legally enforceable?
  • Does Article 356(1) of the Constitution grant the President the authority to issue proclamations?

Contentions by the Petitioner:

  • Bommai was not given the chance to demonstrate his majority.
  • The President’s order to rule was an illusory political act. It was unlawful since there was no justification for imposing presidential rule based only on the fact that there was widespread disturbance and instances of looting and burning.
  • The presidential rule was implemented because the union administration had withheld some material and information that they had acquired. Since the proclamations don’t say much about this kind of information, the union administration has an obligation to disclose the data that was used to make the decision. As stated, Article 74(2) supports this since the Indian Union is unable and unwilling to carry out its obligations.

Contentions by the Defendant:

  • Defendants’ lawyers argued that there are differences between administrative law and constitutional law regarding the scope and character of judicial review. The court may extend its jurisdiction in administrative law to include matters pertaining to a governmental body’s legislative authority, but it does not have the same authority in constitutional law. The court need only declare the acts to be ultra vires or an abuse of discretion. It was also disputed that the courts lacked the jurisdiction to determine whether the prerequisites for enforcing a presidential proclamation are legitimate.
  • Furthermore, it was argued that the President would issue a Presidential Proclamation in accordance with Article 356 (1) and the advice of the cabinet ministers as specified in Article 74 (1); however, Clause 2 of the aforementioned Article strictly “prohibits” any investigation into the question of whether the cabinet gives the President advice and any judicial review of the justifications for the proclamation.
  • Respondents further argued that the State Government may be abolished on the grounds of secularism if its actions are not secular.

sr bommai vs union of india judgment:

  • The sr bommai case year in which it was decided was 11 March 1994.
  • The decision concluded that the President does not have unrestricted authority to overthrow a state government. The ruling states that the President may only act in his or her official capacity after receiving approval from both Houses of Parliament.
  • As per the Court’s ruling, the President’s only option to temporarily dissolve the Legislative Assembly is to also dissolve the Constitution’s sections pertaining to it. “There is no automatic dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. It should only be applied when required to achieve the goals of the Proclamation. The Court of Appeal claims.
  • The nine-judge bench comprising Justice Sawant, Justice Kuldip Singh, Justice Jeevan Reddy, Justice Agarwal, Justice Pandian, Justice Ahmadi, Justice Verma, Justice Dayal and Justice Ramaswamy in the Bommai case rendered decisions on several issues concerning the constitutional limitations on the use of Article 356, among other things.
  • In addition to establishing a number of guidelines to restrict the Center’s power to dissolve state governments, the court acknowledged the constitutionally formed federal structure.
  • The court’s ruling established the rule that the only way to gauge the amount of support a state government obtains is through a floor test.
  • The constitutionality of a President’s Rule proclamation may also be contested in court, the court decided.
  • As to the court’s ruling, the President cannot dissolve a state government without the complete collapse of the constitutional apparatus.

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