14 August 1997 - Telegraph
 
 
 
 
 
Patna High Court ruling stirs a hornet’s nest
Court extends Laloo remand
Chance for India to cash in on Independence-Day bias
Prime Minister’s remark on Women’s Bill sparks protests
Uttar Pradesh leaves Azad in the cold
Music mogul cremated amid chaos

 
 
PATNA HIGH COURT RULING STIRS A HORNET’S NEST 
 
 
FROM OUR LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Aug. 13 

The Patna High Court observation that even the judiciary’s view could be taken into consideration while imposing President’s rule in a state has triggered a debate among lawyers on what the Constituent 42nd Assembly had really meant by inserting the words “or otherwise” at the beginning of Article 356.

Article 356 says: “If the President on receipt of a report from the Governor of a state or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by proclamation assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of the state...”

The contentious clause “or otherwise” has been put into use by the Centre whenever a Governor has not sent a report recommending President’s rule.

When Mr Surjeet Singh Barnala was the Governor of Tamil Nadu in 1990, he refused to send an adverse report against the Karunanidhi led then DMK government.

Mr Barnala