President Rule Article 365 Of Indian Constitution

president rule article 365 of indian constitution

One can argue that a state should not be allowed to use its powers to dissolve its own Legislature, but Article 365 of Indian Constitution does give the President such drastic power. This constitutional provision can be used to disband the Legislature and make a fresh reference to the electorate. However, this is sometimes interpreted as an undemocratic practice.

Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution

If the constitutional machinery of a state fails to function, Article 365 empowers the President to assume powers from the state government. Under such circumstances, the President can impose an emergency. This is referred to as President’s rule. While Article 365 provides a wide range of possibilities, it is rarely used.

The state governments should abide by the Central Government’s executive powers over the state, thereby maintaining Centre-State relations. The Constitution of India, therefore, states the division of powers among the Centre and States, and when there is a disbalance in that, special provisions like the one in Article 365 can be invoked.

History Of Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution

The Article, as we read earlier, deals with the imposition of the President’s rule in a state. Its origins date back to the Government of India, 1935. It was adopted by both India and Pakistan and both are still the only two countries having such provisions. This provision enables the Union executive to hold enormous powers. The Government of India Act, 1935’s Section 93 stated that a governor of a state has the authority to issue proclamations in matters like:

  1. A Governor may declare proclamations if she /he feels that the provincial government is not being run as per the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935.
  2. The Governor might then declare that the province will be controlled by his authority and impose his rule there.
  3. All the authority granted to a body or authority for that province may be taken over by the Governor.
  4. Thus, any provincial body or authority that had previously been given powers may be suspended or dissolved by the governor.
  5. However, the Governor lacked the right to dictate how the province’s judicial system should operate.
  6. The Governor, with a subsequent proclamation, can only revoke this kind of proclamation.
  7. The terms of such a proclamation may be modified by the Governor.
  8. Until re-election, such a proclamation may be in effect for a term of two years.

Provisions Of Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution

The provisions of Article 365 of the Indian constitution give the center the power to rule over states. It plays a vital role in center-state cooperation and accords importance to the constitutional machinery.

Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is extended to form Article 365. Under this Article the President of India can declare a proclamation of emergency under given two situations:

  1. The President of India can impose a national emergency on the whole country as per Article 352 of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Violation of Article 365 of the Indian Constitution can result in the imposition of emergency provisions by the President under article 356.

The Discretion Under Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution

Article 365 of the Indian Constitution is discretionary by its nature. It means that it is not an obligation to apply Article 365 in every case of non-compliance with the Central Government. It is up to the President to decide whether or not to declare an emergency in a state when a situation of emergency emerges as a result of a violation of Article 365.

The President decides on what ground of non-functioning of a state government this extraordinary power can be used. After imposing a president’s rule, all the powers are restrictively exercised by the President.

Due consideration should be given to all the factors under which the President thinks the state government has failed to comply with the Central Government, or a violation of the Indian Constitution or any harm has been made to the basic feature of it has occurred. The reasons because of such an abnormal situation raised should also be taken into consideration.

Presidents Rule Under Article 365 Of Indian Constitution

In India, the President’s rule under Article 365 of the constitution can be imposed in times of crisis. The first time was in Punjab, where the President’s rule was invoked to suspend the ministry of Gopi Chand Bhargava in the state.

The President’s rule can be imposed for a maximum of 6 months and can be extended up to 3 years with half-yearly assessments and extensions.

For the following three reasons, a Presidents rule can be imposed and an emergency can be declared.

  1. As a result of external aggression,
  2. Due to internal management failures, or
  3. Due to violation of the Constitution of India.

Under Article 365 the President’s rule can be imposed on the third ground via Article 356. If a Constitutional machinery breakdown is observed by the President or if the state government failed to comply with the Union government then the President’s rule can be imposed.

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Imposition Of Presidents Rule Under Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution

The President’s rule is imposed over a state when the President is satisfied that such an imposition is required and takes into account all relevant elements that led to that state’s violation of the Constitution. The President imposes his rule in a state when he is convinced that the conditions warrant it. The following is how the President imposes his rule:

  1. The Council of Ministers advises the President to do so.
  2. If the President observes that the state government is not running in accordance with the Constitution of India.
  3. When the state government has failed to elect a candidate as that state’s Chief Minister within the time frame set by the Governor of that state.
  4. Due to the collapse of a government, the chief minister now has a minority of support in the House and is unable to demonstrate a majority within the allotted time.
  5. A vote of no confidence will occur if the governing party loses its majority in the State Legislative Assembly.
  6. Delayed state assembly elections because of a pandemic, natural disaster, or war can also be factors under which President’s rule can be invoked for a short time period. 

Manner Of Imposition And Duration Of The President’s Rule In A State

The following procedural steps are taken for imposing the President’s rule in a state:

  1. For the imposition of the President’s rule in a state, the breach of Article 365 must first be proven.
  2. The President must be convinced that using Article 356 is appropriate after looking into the circumstances of the situation. The proclamation of emergency declaration is issued upon satisfaction of the President.
  3. The Parliament of India needs to approve such a proclamation.
  4. The declaration of emergency proclamation needs to be approved by both the Houses of Parliament (i.e. the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha) within two months of issuing.
  5. The proclamation lasts for 30 days following the re-constitution of the Lok Sabha if the Lok Sabha (one of the House of Parliament), is not in assembly session or has been dissolved and it is accepted by the Rajya Sabha.
  6. The maximum period for such a proclamation is 6 months which can be extended up to 3 years in six-month segments, with consent from the Parliament required for each segment. The 44th Constitutional Amendment Act (1978) instituted this 3-year extension limit.

Note: Prior to the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, the President’s rule could only be enacted for a maximum of one year.

Impact Of Presidents Rule Under Article 365 

In the event that the Centre or a state violates the Indian Constitution, the President can impose the “President’s rule.” However, this power must be exercised only as a last resort and in a reasonable manner. The consequences of a President’s rule are several and are explained below.

  1. The first consequence of the President’s rule under Article 365 of the Indian Constitution is the invocation of a state emergency.
  2. The Governor of the state becomes the constitutional head of the state.
  3. The Governor will continue to oversee affairs on behalf of the President of India, who is the Head of the State, and the state will come under the direct jurisdiction of the Union government.
  4. There wouldn’t be a Council of Ministers after this regulation was put into place.
  5. In such a state, the Vidhan Sabha is either prorogued or dissolved.
  6. The Central Government and central administration run the State.
  7. It is the duty of the Election Commission to conduct fresh elections for the formation of a new state government within 6 months.
  8. Though such imposition does not directly touch the broad population of the state, it has the effect of disrupting the public good because no major legal or administrative changes may be implemented in the state.
  9. The suspension of a state’s government may result in a halt in policy-making and decisions, or in the implementation of new laws. During the President’s rule in a state, no new laws can be enacted by passing a bill in the state legislature.
  10. During this time when the President is in power, pending public and state welfare policies are still outstanding.

Instances Of Invoking Article 365 Of The Indian Constitution In India

In India, Article 365 of the Constitution has been used in a number of different situations. Here are a few situations:

  1. In 1951, the Central Government headed by Jawahar Lal Nehru suspended Gopi Chand Bhargava’s ministry in Punjab.
  2. Following a vote of no confidence, a year-old government was suspended in Manipur in 2001.
  3. Since the governing party lost the majority in Karnataka in 2007, the President’s rule was enacted there.
  4. Protests broke out in the state after the Jammu and Kashmir state government lost its majority in 2008. So, the President’s rule came into effect.
  5. President’s rule came into effect in Maharashtra in 2014 when the government was dissolved because of the separation of ties between the congress party and its allies.
  6. Uttarakhand saw two consecutive invocations of the President’s rule in 2016.

Inter-Relation Between Article 365 And Article 356 Of Indian Constitution

  1. Both are dependent on each other for existence. This statement can be justified by the fact that after an infringement of Article 365, Article 356 is invoked and  Article 365 leads to the invocation of Article 356.
  2. Article 365 comes into play when a state is found guilty of disobeying instructions from the central government or when the state government has broken constitutional rules.
  3.  The Central Government may order the dismissal of the state government in order to impose the President’s rule in that state if it determines that doing so is necessary owing to a malfunction in the constitutional machinery or for any other cause.
  4. Article 356 of Indian Constitution cannot be invoked without Article 365. The latter is an extension of the former.
  5. On either of the two justifications listed in Article 365, the President of India may impose the provisions of Article 356 on a state.
  6. In terms of procedure, Article 365 comes first. The President imposes Article 356 if proper deliberation and investigation have been conducted in accordance with Article 365 and the President is convinced that Article 365 has been violated.
  7. Both of these Articles are invoked at the discretion of the President of India. That means the President is not obliged to invoke these articles but can do on her/his sole discretion after carefully considering all relevant circumstances that might require invoking the articles.
  8. Articles 356 and 365 are only invoked in the most alarming circumstances. The seriousness of the violation is carefully examined, and only if the circumstance calls for the President’s rule to be put into effect and a government to be dismissed is such action taken.


Article 365 outlines the steps that must be followed before the President can impose his rule on a state. First, the State must abide by the laws and provisions of the Constitution and by the laws passed by the Parliament. Second, the state government must abide by the directives of the Central Government, which are mandatory. Article 365 is invoked only when the state does not comply with these directives. Article 365  plays a meaningful role in center-state coordination and cooperation.


How Long May A State Be Under The President’s Rule?

The duration of a president’s rule is six months. In accordance with the Indian Constitution, it may also be prolonged for a further maximum of three years, in stages and with a half-yearly review from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

What Is The Purpose Of Article 365?

Article 365 emphasizes the constitutional machinery and plays a significant role in center-state coordination and collaboration. It states that the states should abide by the directives given to them by the Central Government. If the state fails to comply with any direction given by the Central Government, The President, at their discretion can invoke Article 365 and proceed accordingly. It is up to the President to impose a penalty for breaking Article 365. The President is not required to impose rule in a state for every apparent breakdown of the constitutional machinery because it is not mandatory in nature. Therefore, the President has the authority to impose Article 365 in a state.

What Distinguishes Articles 365 And 356 From One Another?

Article 365 is used when a state is found to have breached the constitutional machinery by failing to implement the union government’s orders to states in specified circumstances. When Article 365 is suspected of being violated, the President has the authority to declare an emergency in that state under Article 356.

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