Emergencies in Indian Constitution

Emergency may be defined as ‘circumstances arising suddenly that calls for immediate action by the public authorities under the powers especially granted to them.’ Black Law’s dictionary defines emergency as ‘a failure of social system to deliver reasonable conditions of life.’ The President of India has the power to order emergency rule in any part of India if threatened by war.

There are three types of emergencies in an Indian Constitution. They are
1. National Emergency
National emergency is imposed when there is a grave threat to India’s security or its territory due to war. National emergency is imposed by the President of India when there’s a written request by council of ministers headed by Prime Minister. For further continuation of emergency, resolution has to be passed by either house of Parliament by a majority of not more than two-third members. Article 352 of the Indian Constitution gives us information about national emergency. National emergency has been imposed thrice in the country- Chinese aggression (1962), Indo-Pak war (1971) and on the grounds of internal disturbances (1975).

2. Failure of Constitutional Machinery in States
If the President is satisfied that the situation has risen to a point that it can’t be controlled by government, he may issue State emergency. It is present in Article 256 of Indian Constitution. It is also known as President’s rule. President can declare emergency either by the report of Governor or if he himself is satisfied that the situation is such that emergency has to be imposed. President Venkataram in 1991 in Tamil Nadu issued emergency without receiving report of Governor. The consequences of state emergency are
a. President assumes all executive power of the state himself.
b. During such emergencies, State assemble is either dissolved or suspended but MLA’s do not lose their membership.
c. Parliament makes laws on State list and passes the budget for the State.
d. High court functions independently.
President also proclaims ordinances in the state.

Three common grounds emerge that have been invoked under article 356 are breakdown of law and order, political instability and corruption.

3. Financial Emergency
President has the power to declare financial emergency if he is satisfied that the financial stability of India or its territory is threatened. It has to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament and tends to operate at the expiration of two months unless approved by the houses meanwhile. During the operation of financial emergency, the executive authority of the union tends to give direction which President may find necessary. The directions may include reduction of salaries or allowance of those serving State, of those who are in connection with the affairs of union including judges of high court and Supreme Court.

During the period of emergency, there might be infringement of fundamental rights of an individual, which may be judicially granted by the Constitution of India. The validity of actions must be reviewed to gain and give way to political interest. Where the State emergency or President’s rule is quite frequently used by the President, national emergency had become a part of history.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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