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vision ias test series

QUESTION 1-

Highlight the devolution of powers under the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.
Do you think the process of devolution has been less than satisfactory so far?

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Approach:

  • Briefly mention the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments Act (CAA).
  • Mention in detail the devolution of powers under the 73rd and 74th CAA.
  • Mention how the devolution has not been satisfactory.
  • Conclude by suggesting a way forward

Answer:
Based on the recommendation of various committees, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (CAA) were passed in 1993 to give constitutional status to the local government bodies. These provided for a formal process of decentralized governance by empowerment of the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

Devolution of powers under 73rd and 74th CAA:

  • Three tier structure: All the States were required to have Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels; and Municipalities in the urban areas respectively. Also, they mandated the creation of Gram Sabhas comprising all the registered voters in the Panchayats.
  • Devolution of functions: The 11th and 12th Schedules list 29 and 18 subjects respectively for the panchayats and urban local bodies.
  • Separate body to conduct elections: A new autonomous body, the State Election Commission, to conduct elections to the panchayats every five years was created.
  • Devolution of financial powers:
    o A State Finance Commission (SFC) was to be created every five years to look into the financial status of the local bodies.
    o PRIs have been authorised to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties and fees in accordance with the procedure.
    o There is a provision of grant-in-aid out of the consolidated fund of the State.
  • District Planning Committee (DPC): To consolidate plans prepared by local bodies and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole.
    However, despite these provisions for devolution, the actual devolution is a distant dream:
  • Ambiguity on the functional jurisdiction: In the absence of properly defined jurisdiction, it is dependent upon the discretion of state legislatures for being assigned the functions.
  • Still functioning in the grip of the state bureaucracy: The village Pradhan has to contact the block office for technical and financial sanctions.
  • Lack of administrative autonomy: Local bodies failed to deliver in the past because they had inadequate control over people working to implement the programmes.
    o For instance, even when responsibilities in the field of health have been transferred, PRIs have no control over the staff and budget of these departments.
  • Inadequate involvement of local bodies: In deciding and choosing the welfare programmes,
    local bodies are hardly involved.
  • Dependence on states and Centre for finances: Due to inadequate resource raising powers of their own, the local bodies are dependent on state and central transfers to meet their financial needs. Thus, there is a need to address the above-mentioned issues in order to realise the actual devolution as envisaged by the 73rd and 74th CAA. It will not only promote participative democracy but will also lead to local welfare and development.

QUESTIONS 2-

Although quasi-judicial bodies have powers resembling those of the judicial bodies, there are important points of distinction between the two. Elaborate.
Approach:

  • Give a brief description of quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Identify the similarities between quasi-judicial and judicial bodies.
  • Highlight the differences between the two.
  • Conclude appropriately.
    Answer:
    Quasi-judicial bodies are authorities, which have powers resembling those of judicial bodies but are
    restricted to certain areas of expertise. Generally, the function of these bodies is to make the work of the courts easier and to reduce the burden of the local courts. Examples: National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Central Administrative Tribunal, National Human Rights Commission etc.

Similarities between the judicial and quasi-judicial bodies:

  • Like courts, these bodies have full power to adjudicate on the matters that come before them.
  • Similar to courts, their decisions are binding, with provision of an appeal lying to their order.
  • Both are manned by experts from the legal field.
  • Both the bodies work with an aim to deliver timely justice to masses.

Although their powers resemble those of the judicial bodies, there are important points of
distinction between the two:

  • Quasi-judicial bodies are non-judicial bodies, which have the powers of interpreting the law. They are given powers and procedures resembling those of a court of law or judge, and are obliged to provide the basis of an official action.
  • They partly function like the court, i.e. they have the power of the courts to adjudicate or pronounce decisions but they are not strictly bound by the procedures that should be followed by the courts.
  • Unlike judicial bodies, they are restricted to certain areas of expertise. They are constituted for a special matter with people well versed in their respective streams.
  • Quasi-judicial bodies needn’t adhere to strict judicial rules (of procedure and evidence) but the ordinary courts have to strictly adhere to these policies.
  • Quasi-judicial bodies can hold formal hearings only if they are mandated to do so as per their governing laws.

Quasi-judicial bodies serve as an important organ in the justice delivery system. They act as a speedy trial mechanism as they deliver justice in a fast manner as the judgements that are usually pronounced by them are speedier and efficient. They have a specific role to play as per their constitution and purpose and play a great role in the smooth functioning of the society.

QUESTION 3 –

Delineate the grounds of disqualification under The Representation of the People Act, 1951. Also, discuss the remedial measures available to the disqualified representatives.
Approach:

  • Introduce by giving brief account of the Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA).
  • Substantiate categorically the grounds of disqualification under RPA.
  • Substantiate the remedial measures available for the same.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

  • The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA) was enacted to provide for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and to the House/s of Legislature of each State, details about
    the structure of administrative machinery for the conduct of elections; qualifications and
    disqualifications for membership to the two houses; the corrupt practices and other offences with
    respect to such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising therein.
  • The Act contains provisions for disqualification both for being chosen as, and, for being, a member of either house of the Parliament or the Legislature of the State. These have been broadly classified into the following grounds:
  • Criminal grounds: Section 8(1) states that a person convicted of an offense punishable under:
    o offense of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of
    birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony
    o offense of undue influence
    o any offense relating to rape or offense of cruelty towards a woman
    o offense of making statement creating or promoting enmity and hatred
    o ill-will between classes or offense relating to such statements in any place of religious worship or ceremony (of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)).
  • On grounds of corruption: Section 8(1) states that a person convicted of an offense punishable under offense of bribery/ corruption or disloyalty violation of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • Other offenses: Likewise, there are various other offenses which if committed by a candidate will lead him to disqualification. For instance:
    o Preaching and practice of Untouchability (Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955).
    o Offence of importing and exporting of prohibited goods (Section 11 of the Customs Act, 1962).
    o Offence of being a member of an unlawful association (Sections 10-12 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967).
  • o Violation of The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • Contractual grounds: If a person has entered into contract with government for business.
  • Failure of expenses reporting: On failure to lodge account of election expenses with Election
    Commission of India (ECI).

The Supreme Court of India, in its judgement in the Lily Thomas Case, 2013 ruled that any MP,
MLA, or MLC who is convicted of a crime and sentenced to a minimum of two years in jail
loses his membership in the house immediately.

Remedies available against such disqualification:

  • Except under Section 8A (corrupt practices), the ECI may remove any disqualification, or reduce the period of any such disqualification.
  • The person may file a petition with the President under sub-section (2) of Section 8A in respect of any disqualification.
  • The disqualified person can move to a higher appellate authority for further consideration of the case, if he is satisfied that there is not sufficient ground for proceeding against him.
  • For disqualification under corruption or disloyalty, the ECI cannot issue the certificate as conclusive proof of corruption or disloyalty, unless an opportunity of being heard has been given to the person.
  • Furthermore, not all offences are of the same nature and degree. As such, the Act prescribes cutoff Sentences for the case to be considered for disqualification.

Other than the provision of disqualification of a member through RPA, 1951, the Constitution of
India also provides for disqualification of members on grounds of defection under the 10th
Schedule.

QUESTION 4-

The basic structure doctrine of the Indian Constitution is a judicial innovation. Analyse.
Approach:

  • Introduce by explaining the meaning of the basic structure doctrine.
  • With the help of examples, explain how it is a judicial innovation.
  • Highlight its evolution and significance.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

According to the basic structure doctrine, the power of the Parliament to amend the
Constitution is not absolute and any amendment that tries to change the ‘basic structure’ of
the Constitution is invalid. However, there is no mention of the term “Basic Structure” anywhere
in the Constitution of India. It has evolved gradually over time through many judgements.

The basic structure doctrine is considered as judicial innovation because the content/ framework of
basic structure was clarified by the judiciary through the numerous landmark judgements as
follows:

  • In the Shankari Prasad case (1951), the Supreme Court (SC) held that the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution under Article 368 also includes the power to amend the Fundamental Rights.
  • In the Golak Nath case (1967), the SC reversed its earlier stand and ruled that the Fundamental Rights are given a ‘transcendental and immutable position’ and hence, the Parliament cannot abridge or take away these rights.
  • The Parliament then enacted the 24th Amendment Act, 1971 and declared that the Parliament has the power to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights under Article 368 and such an act will not be a law under Article 13.
  • In the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the SC overruled its judgement in the Golakh Nath case and upheld the 24th Amendment Act. However, it also laid down the doctrine of the ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution, which stated that the Parliament could abridge or take away the Fundamental Rights but not those which form a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • In the Minerva Mills case (1980), the SC upheld that ‘judicial review’ is a ‘basic feature’ of the Constitution.
  • In the Waman Rao case (1981), the SC held that the doctrine will be applied to Constitutional Amendments after the Kesavananda Bharati Case Judgement.
  • In Kihoto hollohan vs. Zachillhu, 1992, ‘free and fair elections’ was added to the basic features.
  • In Indira Sawhney vs. Union of India, 1992, ‘rule of law’ was added to the basic features.
  • In S.R Bommai vs Union of India, 1994, federal structure, unity and integrity of India,
    secularism, socialism, social justice and judicial review were reiterated as basic features.
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The final word on the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution has not been pronounced by the Supreme Court. While the idea that there is such a concept as a basic structure to the Constitution is well established, its contents cannot be completely determined with any measure of finality until the Supreme Court clearly lists them. Nevertheless, the sovereign, democratic and secular character of the polity, rule of law, independence of the judiciary, fundamental rights of citizens etc. are some of the essential features of the Constitution that have appeared time and again in the apex court’s pronouncements.

However, it has ensured that all laws and constitutional amendments are now subject to judicial review and laws that transgress the ‘basic structure’ are likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court. In essence, the Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution is not absolute and the Supreme Court is the final arbiter over and interpreter of all constitutional amendments.

QUESTIONS 5 –

Highlight the various challenges in ensuring cooperative federalism in India. Also, suggest measures to foster cooperative federalism.
Approach:

  • Give a brief introduction about cooperative federalism in India.
  • Mention various obstacles to cooperative federalism.
  • Write down measures to strengthen cooperative federalism.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

  • Cooperative federalism means that though there is a constitutional provision for the distribution of powers, in practice, these powers are to be exercised jointly by the Centre and the states. It is understood to have the following characteristics:
  • To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives.
  • Working in a cooperative spirit through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognising that strong States make a strong nation.

However, cooperative federalism in India faces certain challenges:

  • Ineffectiveness of institutions: Various institutions formed for the purpose of strengthening cooperative federalism have not lived upto the expectations.
  • Inter-State Council: Besides not having regular meetings, it is seen as a mere talk shop and its recommendations are not binding on the government.
  • NITI Aayog: Though it has given significant boost to cooperative federalism, it is not a
  • statutory body and has limited focus on accountability. Further, its policies may work in
  • favour of the already advanced states to the detriment of others.
  • Role of the Governor: Many times, states have complained of misuse of the office of the Governor by the Centre due to political reasons.
  • Unbalanced regional development: Due to different states being in different stages of development, there is often a sense of discriminatory treatment in the allocation of resources among the states.
  • Inter-state water disputes: With India’s water problems taking a turn towards the worse, various states indulge in water disputes, which often becomes an emotive issue difficult to manage.

Remedial measures which can be taken:

  • Expediting resolution of issues: Forums like NITI Aayog, Inter-State Council etc. should be used in an effective manner to resolve issues between the central ministries and state and UTs.
  • Address misgivings of states: The Centre should ensure that genuine grievances of states are addressed, for instance the office of the Governor should not be misused politically.
  • Evidence-based policy making: NITI Aayog’s approach where it focuses on policy formulation based on adequate data should be adopted and sharing of best practices should be focussed upon. For example, it brought out a three-year action agenda, development of composite water management index, promotion of GIS based planning etc.
  • Balanced regional development: Such as focus on areas such as the North-East. For eg: NITI Forum for North East which aims to identify various constraints in the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the North Eastern Region (NER) is co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.
  • Strengthening of Inter State Council: It can be strengthened by implementing
    recommendations of Sarkaria Commission by giving it all the powers contemplated in the
    Constitution like Article 263(a) which gives it the power to investigate issues of inter-state
    conflict but was dropped in the Presidential order of 1990.

The spirit of ‘cooperative federalism’ got a boost with establishment of NITI Aayog, which is the
premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India. The success of the GST Council in bringing
one tax all over the country is also a unique example of the working of cooperative federalism.

QUESTIONS 6 –

Despite having features borrowed from Constitutions of various other countries, the Constitution of India remains unique. Discuss.
Approach:

  • In introduction, give a brief background of the making of the Indian Constitution.
  • Highlight the various provisions which are borrowed from different constitutions around the world.
  • Compare the borrowed provisions with the modified provisions, as adopted in India, to suit our needs.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

  • The Indian Constitution has several features, which were borrowed from various other countries.
    For instance, the parliamentary form of government, bicameralism and legislative procedures from
    the United Kingdom; the fundamental rights, independent judiciary and the process of removal of
    Supreme Court judges from United States of America; the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity
    in the preamble from France; the Federation with a strong Centre from Canada; the Directive
    Principles of State Policy from Ireland; and the idea of socio-economic and political justice from
    erstwhile USSR.

Despite the presence of these borrowed provisions, the Indian Constitution remains unique, as can
be observed below:

  • Lengthiest written constitution: While the UK had no written constitution, the American Constitution had just seven articles and the Australian Constitution comprised of 128 articles, India gave itself a comprehensive constitution which initially had 395 articles and is now extended to 470.
  • Constitutional Sovereignty: Though India adopted a Parliamentary form of government as existed in the UK, it is the Constitution that is sovereign in India and not Parliament. The Indian Parliament cannot give itself a new constitution. It can just amend the existing constitution and that too without compromising on its basic structure.
  • Fundamental Rights with restrictions: Unlike the USA, Fundamental Rights granted in India are not absolute. They are subject to certain restrictions. The Indian Constitution seeks to strike a balance between individual liberty and social interests.
  • A federal system with unitary bias: The idea of federalism in India is borrowed from the Canadian federal system. However, in India, the Centre becomes strong enough to usurp the power of states only in case of emergency. Under normal circumstances, both the Centre and the states work within the constitutional domain demarcated for them.
  • Independent but Integrated judiciary: Unlike the USA, where the federal laws are enforced by the federal judiciary and the state laws are enforced by the state judiciary, the Indian constitution provides for an integrated judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court at the Centre and the High Courts and subordinate courts at the state and district level, which enforce both central as well as the state laws.
  • A blend of rigidity and flexibility: In comparison to the constitutions of the USA and Australia, the Indian Constitution is flexible. However, on issues related to centre-state relations, the Constitution is rigid.
  • The wider scope of the DPSPs: In India, the DPSPs include not only economic rights as in Ireland, but also principles relating social justice, economic welfare, foreign policy, and administrative matters. Thus, the Indian Constitution is not merely a borrowed document. It reflects the sagacity and the foresight of the founding fathers who have tailored it according to the needs of the country and its people.

QUESTION 7-

Is there a need to rationalize the large number of ministries in the Government of India? Discuss with logical arguments.
Approach:

  • Give a brief background about the ministries and their role in the Indian politico-administrative system.
  • Highlight the various provisions of the Indian Constitution under which the ministries are created and function.
  • Argue whether there is a need to rationalise the present number of ministries in Government of India.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

  • In India, the Ministries and departments are created by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under the Government of India (Allocation of Business Rules) 1961. Under these rules, each ministry is assigned a minister and each department in the ministry is generally under the charge of a civil servant or official who assists the minister on policy matters and general administration.

Following are the reasons which necessitate the creation of the Ministries in the Indian Parliamentary system:

For administrative convenience and to ensure development:

o Each ministry is central to the formulation of policies and their implementation. For example, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is responsible for the implementation of the National Food Security Act.
o Multiple ministries ensure administrative convenience through division of work, better coordination, oversight, etc.
o Ministries are also created for the development of a particular region or for a particular section of the society. Example: Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • Ever-increasing functions of the government: Due to its welfare nature, the functions performed by the government are increasing and getting more specialized day by day. This necessitates the formation of new and specialized ministries or departments or divisions. For example: The New and Emerging Strategic Technologies (NEST) division was recently created in the Ministry of External Affairs. At present, there are more than 40 ministries and their departments in the Government of India that are headed by 78 ministers. It is argued that the ministries in India need rationalization due to the following reasons:
  • Slows down decision-making process: With the growing complexity of the government functioning, too many ministries end up having jurisdiction over any given decision. This undermines efficient implementation of a policy/scheme, as well as makes it difficult to ascertain accountability. e.g. tussle between Ministry of Civil Aviation and Home Affairs over regulations related to drones in India.
  • Insufficient allocation of resources: It is not possible for a developing country like India to provide adequate funds to such a large number of ministries. Besides, a large share of the fund allocated to these ministries goes towards providing salaries and pensions to the employees. Hence, the resource allocation is not optimum.
  • Overlaps and conflicts with the private sector: India being a welfare state the government provides many services which the private sector could provide. Thus, the government becomes a competitor of the private sector resulting in crowding out the private sector. Example: BSNL, LIC, etc.
  • Vehicles of political patronage: In the era of coalition politics, ministries are being used as an allurement for the allies.

In view of the large number of ministries, there have been arguments for the need to rationalize the
number of ministries e.g., the road, railways and shipping ministries can be fused into one to get an integrated transport strategy. Similarly, the ministries of power, petroleum and natural gas and renewable energy can be merged to resolve the issues in the energy sector.

QUESTION 8-

Provide an account of the role of UPSC. Also, enumerate the Constitutional provisions to safeguard and ensure the independence and impartial functioning of the UPSC.
Approach:

  • Introduce by briefly mentioning the role of UPSC and its importance.
  • Mention its limitations.
  • State the constitutional provisions that safeguard and ensure the independence and impartial
    functioning of UPSC.
  • Conclude giving a suitable way forward.

Answer:

UPSC was created as the central recruiting agency and is an independent constitutional body constituted under Article 315 of the Indian Constitution. It has been visualized as the ‘watch-dog of merit system’ in India and in this regard, it has the following roles:

  • It conducts examinations for appointments to the All-India Services, Central services and public services of the centrally administered territories.
  • It renders advice on service matters and is consulted by the government in deciding disciplinary matters.
  • It assists the states (if requested by two or more states to do so) in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required.
  • The additional functions relating to the services of the Union can be conferred on UPSC by the Parliament. It can also place the personnel system of any authority, corporate body or public institution within the jurisdiction of the UPSC.
  • It has the authority to appoint officers through interviews for lateral entry. However, some experts argue that UPSC has certain limitations:
  • Advisory body: The recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and hence, not binding on the government. Further, the government can also make rules which regulate the scope of the advisory functions of the UPSC.
  • Limited role: It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions, cadre management, training, and so on. Further, it is neither consulted while appointing personnel to different posts or temporary jobs nor while making provisions for any kind of reservation. The President can also exclude posts, services, and matters from the purview of the UPSC.
  • Overlap of function: The role of UPSC in disciplinary matters has been affected by the emergence of the Central Vigilance Commission because the government has come to consult the anti-corruption watchdog, as a specialized agency.
  • Considering the importance of UPSC, the Constitution has provided following the provisions for ensuring independent and impartial functioning of the organization:
  • Security of Tenure: Article 316(2) provides that the member of a Public Service Commission shall hold the office for the term of six years from the date on which he has entered upon his office and in the case of Union Commission; the age is of sixty-five years.
  • Tough removal process: Article 317 provides that the Chairman or any other member of the Public Service Commission can only be removed from his office by order of the President on the ground of misbehaviour after an enquiry done by Supreme court.
  • Conditions of service: Article 318 of the Constitution provides that the conditions of service of a member of a Public Service Commission shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • Charged Expenditure: Article 322 provides that the salaries, allowances and pensions of the chairman and members of the UPSC are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and not subject to vote of Parliament.
  • Check on Re-appointments: Article 319 (a) provides that the Chairman is not eligible for further employment in Government of India or state. Further, a member of UPSC is eligible for appointment as the chairman of UPSC or a State Public Service Commission (SPSC), but not for any other employment in the GoI or a state.
  • Memorandum on non-acceptance of recommendation: Article 323 provides that along with the report of the working of the Commission, a memorandum explaining the cause of nonacceptance of the Commission’s recommendations would also be laid down before the two Houses by the President.

QUESTION 9 –

What are tribunals? How is Article 323A different from Article 323B of the Indian Constitution?
Approach:

  • Start with a brief description of tribunals and their features.
  • Differentiate between the Articles 323A and 323B of the Indian Constitution with respect to functions, jurisdiction, etc.
  • Conclude accordingly

Answer:

Tribunals are judicial or quasi-judicial institutions established by law. They intend to reduce the caseload of the judiciary with faster adjudication. Also they bring in subject expertise for technical matters. They were originally not part of the Indian Constitution. In 1976, Articles 323A and 323B (42nd Amendment) empowered Parliament and State legislature to constitute tribunals.

The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 authorises the central government to establish one Central Administrative Tribunal and the State Administrative Tribunal. The Act also makes a provision for setting up of Joint Administrative Tribunals for two or more states.

Differences between Article 323A and 323B of the Indian Constitution

  • Functionality: While Article 323A contemplates establishment of tribunals for public service matters only, Article 323B contemplates establishment of tribunals for certain other matters like taxation, forex, land reforms, rent and tenancy rights, etc.
  • Who can establish: While tribunals under Article 323A can be established only by the Parliament, tribunals under Article 323B can be established by both the Parliament and State Legislatures with respect to matters falling within their legislative competence.
  • Hierarchy of Tribunals: Under Article 323A, only one tribunal for the Centre and one for each state or two or more states may be established. There is no question of hierarchy of tribunals, whereas under Article 323B, a hierarchy of tribunals may be created.

Originally, appeals against the orders of these tribunals could be made only in the Supreme Court and not in the High Courts. However, in Chandra Kumar Case 1997, the Supreme Court declared those provisions of these two articles which excluded the jurisdiction of high court and the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Hence, the judicial remedies are now available against the orders of these tribunals.

The tribunal system has developed as a parallel to the traditional court system over the last eighty years. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was created in 1941 to reduce pendency of cases in courts. After the insertion of Articles 323A and 323B, several tribunals such as the Central Administrative Tribunal as well as sector specific tribunals were set up from the 1980s to 2010s. The Finance Act, 2017 consolidated several tribunals.

QUESTION 10-

On what grounds can President’s Rule be imposed in a state? Also, mention the procedure of its imposition and its effects.
Approach:

  • Give a brief introduction about the President’s rule or state emergency.
  • Mention the grounds on which it can be imposed in a state.
  • Mention the procedure of its imposition and its effects.
  • Conclude accordingly.

Answer:

  • President’s Rule refers to the suspension of a state government and the imposition of direct rule of the Centre. The central government takes direct control of the state in question and the Governor becomes the chief executive of the state. The State Assembly is either dissolved or prorogued. Such a situation forces the Election Commission to conduct a re-election within six months. President’s rule can be imposed on two grounds:
  • Under Article 356, i.e., failure of constitutional machinery in the States. If the President receives a report from the state’s Governor or otherwise is convinced or satisfied that the State’s situation is such that the state government cannot carry on the governance according to the provision of the Constitution.
  • Under Article 365, the President of India gets the power to suspend a state government under the following conditions:
  1. The state legislature is not able to elect a leader as the Chief Minister for a time prescribed by the state’s Governor.
  2. If a coalition government in the state breaks down, the CM ends up having a minority.
  3. A no-confidence vote is passed in the Legislative Assembly.
  4. Elections of the state are postponed due to unavoidable reasons like natural disasters.
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Procedure to impose President’s rule in a state:

  • On the fulfilment of above conditions, the President proclaims the President’s rule in a state. However, this proclamation should be approved within two months by both the House of Parliament. This approval takes place through simple majority in either House.
  • Thereafter, it remains in force for six months. It can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of Parliament every six months.

Effects of imposition of the President Rule:

  • When the President’s rule is imposed in a state, the President dismisses the State Council of
    Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister.
  • The state Governor, on behalf of the President, carries on the State administration with the help
    of Chief Secretary of the state, or the advisors appointed by the President.
  • Further, the President either suspends or dissolves the State Legislative Assembly. The powers
    of the State Legislature in that case are exercised by the Parliament. The Parliament may also
    delegate these powers to the President.

President rule has been criticized for its misuse in the past. The 44th Constitutional Amendment Act has provided that such a proclamation can be challenged in a court of law to check its misuse. In the SR Bommai case, the Supreme Court held that the Presidential proclamation imposing state emergency is subject to judicial review.

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