Think India Constitutional Law Forum presents a talk on "Partial President's Rule" in collaboration with Lawbeat & Student Initiative for Promotion of Legal Awareness (SIPLA) by Senior Advocate Chetan Mittal (Asst. Solicitor General, GoI) Date 27, July 2021 at 6 PM.
Article 355 mandates the Union to protect “state” from “internal disturbance” and to ensure that “government of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
Further, Article 356(1)(a) allows the President to assume all or “any” of the powers and functions of the government of the state. Exercise of this power is contingent on the President being “satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
Thus, even a partial President’s Rule could be imposed. Only such functions and powers, which are necessary to restore rule of law in state, can be controlled by the President.
Similar powers were vested in the Governor under Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935. This was meant to include the possibility of a partial breakdown and to enable the Governor to take over part only of the machinery of the government, leaving the remainder to function according to the ordinary law.
The power to impose partial President’s Rule was also discussed in the landmark judgment of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India.
Partial President's Rule came into popular discourse recently when the devastating news of post-poll brutalities and allegations of complicity of state administration started pouring in.