Mumbai

Centre invokes special power to revoke President’s Rule without prior Cabinet nod

Screenshot of the gazette notification regarding the decision to revoke President's rule in Maharashtra

Screenshot of the gazette notification regarding the decision to revoke President's rule in Maharashtra   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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The notification was digitally signed by Union Home Secretary at 5.47 a.m. on November 23

The Centre invoked Rule 12 of the Transaction of Business Rules, 1961 that empowered it to revoke the proclamation of President’s rule in Maharashtra without the prior approval of the Union Cabinet.

Rule 12 pertaining to “Departure from Rules” says the “Prime Minister may, in any case or classes of cases permit or condone a departure from these rules, to the extent he deems necessary.”

On November 12 when the President’s Rule was imposed, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met on an urgent basis, minutes before the PM was to leave for Brazil to attend the BRICS summit, to approve the Central rule.

On Saturday, the Cabinet did not meet to revoke the proclamation as the government used it’s power under the Rule, said a senior government official.

Screenshot of the time of approval of gazette notification regarding the decision to revoke President's rule in Maharashtra

Screenshot of the time of approval of gazette notification regarding the decision to revoke President's rule in Maharashtra   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

President Ram Nath Kovind revoked the proclamation through a notification issued early on Saturday that was signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 356 of the Constitution, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India hereby revoke the Proclamation issued by me under the said Article on the 12th day of November, 2019, in relation to the State of Maharashtra with effect from the 23rd day of November, 2019,” the notification said.

The notification was digitally signed by the official concerned at 5.47 am on Saturday before being uploaded on the official gazette portal — egazette.nic.in.

An official said a notification can only be digitally signed once the physical copy has been signed by the President.

The timeline suggests that the Union Home Ministry had worked overnight to prepare the notification and the President signed it before 5.47 am on Saturday.

Last time when the proclamation imposing the Central rule was issued, the Home Ministry officials waited for Mr. Kovind to return from Punjab. After he signed the proclamation, Central rule was formally imposed around 5.30 pm on November 12 though the Governor sent a report around 12 noon the same day recommending it.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:33:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/ram-nath-kovind-revokes-presidents-rule-in-maharashtra/article30058635.ece

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