The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Question moral, not legal

New Delhi, Feb. 21: Notification of an election does not mean an express bar on imposition of President’s rule in a state but the clampdown could be termed “constitutionally immoral”, legal analysts said.

Constitutional expert Subhash C. Kashyap said there is no link between a poll notification and the imposition of President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution.

But Kashyap added that imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh would have been unconstitutional before the notification and would be the same after it, too.

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan was also of the view that President’s rule “can always be imposed’’, stressing that the announcement of election dates does not make any difference.

However, while agreeing that there is no bar, senior advocate P.N. Lekhi said central rule would be “constitutionally immoral”.

Lekhi said President’s rule after the notification could be seen as an interference in the election process — another reason that could make A.P.J. Abdul Kalam think twice in case an ordinance goes to him.

The senior advocate said central rule after the poll declaration would go against the avowed goal of cultivating constitutional morality among the citizens.

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