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What is Rule 12, used by the Centre to revoke President’s Rule in Maharashtra

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    3rd Dec, 2019

After the assembly polls in October 2019, the state of Maharashtra was placed under the President’s rule amid a stalemate over the formation of the government in the state. However, to end the president’s rule, “Rule 12" has been used by the PM to end President's rule in Maharashtra.

Context

After the assembly polls in October 2019, the state of Maharashtra was placed under the President’s rule amid a stalemate over the formation of the government in the state. However, to end the president’s rule, “Rule 12" has been used by the PM to end President's rule in Maharashtra.

About

The President’s Rule:

President’s rule is imposed through the invocation of Article 356 of the Constitution by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.

Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

What is this rule, known as ‘Rule 12’?

  • Rule 12 of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961, allows the Prime Minister to depart from laid down norms at his discretion.
  • Titled “Departure from Rules”, Rule 12 says, “The Prime Minister may, in case or classes of cases permit or condone a departure from these rules, to the extent he deems necessary.”
  • The Cabinet can subsequently give post-facto approval for any decision taken under Rule 12.

Under what circumstances is Rule 12 used?

  • Rule 12 is usually not used to arrive at major decisions by the government. However, it has been used in matters such as withdrawal of an office memorandum or signing of MoUs in the past.
  • The last big decision taken through the invocation of Rule 12 was re-organisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on October 31.
  • The proclamations issued by the President that day, dividing various districts between the two Union Territories, were issued under Rule 12.
  • The Cabinet gave post-facto approval to the same on November 20.

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