Supreme Court Has Now Rendered A Landmark Decision On Art.356

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BOMMAI CASE:- The Supreme Court has now rendered a landmark decision on Art.356(1) in S.R. Bommai v. India. The case arose in the context of the following facts. In 1989, the Janata Dal Ministry headed by Shri S.R. Bommai was in office in Karnataka. A number of members defected from the party and there arose a question mark on the majority support in the House for the Bommai’s Ministry. The Chief Minister proposed to the Governor that the Assembly session be called to test the strength of the Ministry on the floor of the alternative government but reported to the President that as Shri Bommai had lost the majority support in the House, and as no other party was in a position to form the government, action be taken under Art.356(1). Accordingly, the President issued the proclamation in April, 1989. Bommai challenged the validity of the proclamation before the Karnataka High Court through a writ petition on various grounds. The High Court ruled that the proclamation issued under Art.356(1) is not wholly outside the pole of judicial scrutiny; the satisfaction of the President under Art.356(1) which is a condition present for issue of the proclamation ought to be real and genuine satisfaction based on relevant facts and circumstances. The scope of judicial scrutiny is therefore confined to an examination whether the disclosed reasons bear any rational nexus to the action proposed or proclamation issued. The courts may examine as to whether the proclamation was based on a

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