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Imposition of Article 356

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Imposition of Article 356:


West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar recently made serious allegations about the law and order situation in the state.

  • The remarks prompted speculation about imposition of Article 356 in the State where Assembly polls are scheduled next year.

Challenges highlighted:

  1. The political killings, targeted killings and violence are a cause of great concern.
  2. The greater challenge to democracy in the state is that the police and administration, those in the premier services, the IAS and IPS, are politicised.
  3. Some of them are working as full-time political workers, as political foot soldiers, totally abandoning their roles.

What is President’s Rule in the Indian context?

Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives President of India the power to suspend state government and impose President’s rule of any state in the country “if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.

It is also known as ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.


Upon the imposition of this rule, there would be no Council of Ministers.

  • The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to head the proceedings, representing the President of India.

Parliamentary Approval and Duration:

  • A proclamation imposing President’s Rule must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within two months from the date of its issue.
  • The approval takes place through simple majority in either House, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
  • Initially valid for six months, the President’s Rule can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament, every six months.

Report of the Governor:

Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.


  • A proclamation of President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation.
  • Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.


Prelims Link:

  1. Imposition of President’s Rule.
  2. Related Provisions.
  3. Report of Governor.
  4. Parliamentary approval and duration.
  5. Revocation.
  6. What happens to the State legislature Under President’s Rule.

Mains Link:

What is President’s Rule? Why it is controversial? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.