The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday dismissed an article published in The Indian Express earlier in the day claiming that the Centre’s delay in extending President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir in June could put its decision to change the state’s constitutional status on shaky ground.
In the article, Supreme Court lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan said that the government moved a resolution in the Lok Sabha to extend President’s rule on June 28, which was 10 days after it should have ceased to operate.
The lawyer cited Article 356(4) to make his point. According to it, “a proclamation so approved [by both Houses of Parliament] shall, unless revoked, cease to operate on the expiration of a period of six months from the date of issue of the Proclamation.”
The proclamation was issued on December 19, 2018, and both Houses of Parliament had approved the resolution on January 3. Hence it should have ceased to operate on June 18. Due to the Centre’s “gaffe”, it tabled resolutions to extend President’s rule in the Lok Sabha on June 28 and in the Rajya Sabha on July 1, Sankaranarayanan wrote.
Rebutting Sankaranarayanan’s claims, a ministry spokesperson said the original provisions of Article 356 applied to Jammu and Kashmir since the subsequent changes made to it through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment and the 44th Constitutional Amendment were not made applicable to the state.
The original provisions under Article 356 allow a proclamation to exist for six months from the date of the second of the resolutions approving it, the spokesperson added.
“The proclamation dated December 19, 2018, was approved by Lok Sabha on December 28, 2018, and Rajya Sabha on January 3, 2019,” the ministry said. “Therefore, the proclamation of the President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir was due to expire on July 3, 2019, that is six months from January 3, 2019.”