SR Bommai vs. Union of India Case Summary 1994 SC

SR Bommai vs. Union of India Case Summary 1994 SC

SR Bommai vs. Union of India case delivered a landmark judgement in which the relationship between central and state governments is stated. It also discussed the idea of secularism and the power of the president under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution which states that if a state government cannot function according to Constitutional provisions, the president can act as a government of that state. It is also stated how Article 356 is misused politically to raise a dispute between centre and state.


1994 AIR 1918, 1994 SCC (3) 1


  1. Hon’ble Justice Kuldip Singh
  2. Hon’ble Justice P.B. Sawant
  3. Hon’ble Justice Katikithala Ramaswamy
  4. Hon’ble Justice S.C. Agrawal
  5. Hon’ble Justice Yogeshwar Dayal
  6. Hon’ble Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy
  7. Hon’ble Justice S.R. Pandian
  8. Hon’ble Justice A.M. Ahmadi
  9. Hon’ble Justice J.S. Verma


  • Section 356 of the Indian Constitution states that president rule will be imposed if the State can’t able to function according to the constitutional process. 


  1. S.R. Bommai was the CM of the Karnataka between August 13, 1988, and April 21, 1989, representing the Janata Dal.
  2. The government was dismissed on April 21, 1989, under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution because of the defection of 19 MLAs, Thus governor send this information to the president and recommends president that the should exercise his power under Article 356(1) of the Indian Constitution.
  3. Bommai was not given the opportunity to prove that the party is in majority that’s why he approached High Court which dismissed the writ petition, so to take remedy he approached Supreme Court.
  4. President issued some proclamations from 1988 to 1991 in different states i.e. Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.


  1. Whether the proclamation was made under Art. 356 was justiciable or not?
  2. If yes, then to what extent?
  3. Whether the president has the power to issue under proclamation under Art. 356(1) of the Constitution?


Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the Karnataka High Court and restored the state government and declared the proclamation in Karnataka and Meghalaya unconstitutional but the proclamation for the state of Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan was not declared unconstitutional.

Supreme Court also referred to the report of Sarkaria Commission which enlist the situation in which states the power of Article 356 could be proper or improper.


This case states the rights of the state to bar the functioning of the central government. It also specifies the scope of judicial review. It also states how Article 356 is misused politically to make the government fall from the state.

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