The President and the Bommai Case<sup>1</sup>

A.G. Noorani


Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678291
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080588 | DOI:
The President and the Bommai Case1

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This chapter reports the implications of the rulings in the Bommai case. In 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to sign a proclamation of emergency under Article 352 on the fraudulent ground that India's security was threatened by 'internal disturbance'. Article 74(I), which said that the president had to act as per the advise of a council of ministers with the prime minister at the head, was amended during the emergency by the 42nd Amendment. The logic was accepted by the Janata Party government which had attacked Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed for signing the proclamation of emergency. That is why the 44th Amendment to the Constitution which it sponsored, made no change in Article 74(I) except, adding a promise that the president may require the council of ministers to reconsider their advice. The president was however bound to 'act in accordance with the advice tendered after reconsideration'. R. Venkataraman earned a deserved stricture from the Supreme Court in 1994 in the Bommai case in relation to the proclamation of 21 April 1989 imposing president's rule in Karnataka. No government of India can act as arbitrarily as was the case with governments in the past.

Keywords: Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed; Article 74(I); 44th Amendment; Bommai case; rulings; R. Venkataraman; Supreme Court; Karnataka

Chapter.  2747 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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