Governor's Rule in J&K- Why Governor's and not President's Rule

Date: June 20, 2018

N N Vohra President Rule Art 370

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is placed under Governor's Rule after resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. In other states, President's Rule is imposed after collapse of the local government under Article 356 of the Constitution. But Jammu and Kashmir has its own separate Constitution that provides for an intermediary statutory layer in the state.
In J&K, governor’s rule is mentioned under Article 370 section 92 – ‘ Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State.’

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Here’s a look at provisions for Governor’s rule and the dispensation of duties under Article 370 section 92:

92. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State.-

(1) If at any time, the *Governor is 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, the *Governor may by Proclamation- (a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by anybody or authority in the State;

(b) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the *Governor to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to anybody or authority in the State:
Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise the *Governor to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the High Court or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to the High Court.
(2) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation.

(3) Any such Proclamation whether varied under subsection (2) or not, shall except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate on the expiration of six months from the date on which it was first issued.

(4) If the *Government or by a Proclamation under his section assumes, to himself any, of the powers of the Legislature to make his laws, any law made by him in the exercise of that power shall, subject to, the terms there of continue to have effect until two years have elapsed from the date on which the proclamation ceases to have effect, unless sooner

(5) No Proclamation under this section shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, be laid before each House of the Legislature as soon as it is convened.

As per Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, Governor's Rule is imposed in the state for a period of six months. Jammu and Kashmir assembly remains under suspended animation during this period. However, the governor may dissolve the assembly.

Suspended animation of the assembly means the elected MLAs remain in office and legislative assembly continues to exist without the power of legislation. The governor assumes the power of legislation during this period.

At the expiry of six months of Governor's Rule and if suspension of assembly has not been revoked, Jammu and Kashmir comes under the President's Rule as mandated by the Constitution of India as per Article 356. However, in both the cases, the governor administers as per the Centre's directions.

If the Governor decides to dissolve Legislative Assembly during his own rule or when the state is under the President's Rule, election shall be held within six months. If the Election Commission does not hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir within six months from the date of dissolution of Assembly, it is required to explain reasons for not doing so.

The security situation has been a concern in Jammu and Kashmir for delay and deferment of assembly elections in the past.