After the Assembly elections in a State, no party was in a position to form a Government. The Governor fearing horse trading, recommended for dissolution of the Assembly. The Central Government also advised the President to issue proclamation under Article 356. The proclamation was issued dissolving the Assembly. Discuss the constitutional validity of the President’s proclamation and Governor’s recommendation.
Article 356 says that if the President, on receipt of a report from the Governor of State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he may issue a Proclamation.
The term “satisfaction” in Art. 356(1) does not mean the personal satisfaction of the Governor but it is the satisfaction of the cabinet. The satisfaction of the President can, however, be challenged on two grounds that:
1) It has been exercised male fide
2) It has been based on wholly extraneous and irrelevant grounds.
In these cases, it would be no satisfaction of the President.
In S.R Bommai vs. Union of India (AIR 1994 SC 1918, the Karnataka High Court held that the proclamation issued under Art. 356 is not wholly outside the part of judicial scrutiny and the Court can examine whether the reasons disclosed for issuing proclamation have rational nexus with the satisfaction reached under Article 356.