EMERGENCY PROVISIONS IN INDIAN CONSTITUTION

The President of India has the authority to declare three categories of crises under the Indian Constitution: national, state, and financial emergencies. India’s emergency laws are based on Germany’s Weimar Constitution. The Indian Constitution recognises three sorts of emergencies:

  1. NATIONAL EMERGENCY

According to Article 352, if the president believes that a dangerous situation occurs in which the country’s security is threatened by wars, external attack, or armed insurrection, he can declare an emergency. Emergency can be declared over the complete territory of India or any part thereof.

On the written advice of the cabinet, the President can declare an emergency. An emergency resolution requires a special majority to pass. Once accepted, the emergency will be operational for a maximum of six months. If not less than 1/10th of members of Lok Sabha write to the speaker, if the house is in session, or to the president, the speaker or president, as the case may be, will convene a special session of Lok Sabha within 14 days, and if such a resolution is passed, the president will revoke the national emergency.

AMENDMENTS

38th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1975: It gave the president the authority to declare a national emergency on several grounds, even if one was already in effect.

42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976: It gave the president the authority to change or alter the national emergency declaration. Only impositions and revocations were possible under the original constitution. The president may only declare a national emergency in India’s whole territory under the original constitution. This amendment gave him control over a section of the country.

44th Constitutional Amendment, 1978: It was enacted to prevent the misuse of emergency power by the executive.

EFFECTS OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY

On Executive – State governments are not dismissed; they continue to function, but they are brought under the effective authority of the centre, which assumes the capacity to issue directives to state governments, which must follow them.

On Legislature – State legislatures continue to operate and legislate, but parliament obtains concurrent legislative power on state issues, and any law adopted by parliament, to the extent of incompetency, shall cease to operate six months after the revocation of the national emergency.

On Financial Relations – The president has the authority to suspend the allocation of financial resources between the centre and the states, and the centre can utilise any national resource to combat the costs for which an emergency has been declared.

On Fundamental Rights – Article 358 addresses the suspension of Article 19’s Fundamental Rights, while Article 359 addresses the suspension of other Fundamental Rights (except those guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21).

2. PRESIDENT’S RULE (STATE EMERGENCY)

According to Article 355, it is the Union’s responsibility to defend each state against external invasion and internal strife, as well as to ensure that each state’s government operates in conformity with the requirements of this Constitution.

Under Article 356, if the president is satisfied, based on the governor’s report or otherwise, that there is a great emergency in which the state’s administration cannot be continued in accordance with the constitution’s provisions, any person can dismiss the state government and take over the state administration on his own, declaring that parliament will enact legislation on his behalf.

EFFECTS OF PRESIDENT’S RULE (STATE EMERGENCY)

On Executive – The state government has been deposed, and the executive power of the state has been transferred to the federal government.

On Legislature – The state legislature is either suspended or dissolved, and it is no longer able to legislate.

On Financial Relations – The distribution of financial resources between the centre and the state is unaffected.

AMENDMENTS

42nd Constitution Amendment Act, 1976 extended the period of state emergency from 6 months to 1 year.

44th Constitution Amendment Act of 1978 reduced the length of a state of emergency to six months. It also divided the maximum length of operation of three years into one year in usual circumstances and two years in extraordinary circumstances, for which the specified conditions must be met.

3. FINANCIAL EMERGENCY

Under Article 360 – If the President believes that a situation has occurred in which India’s financial stability or credit, or any part of its territory, is in jeopardy, he may issue a proclamation to that effect. In India, this type of emergency is never declared.

REFERENCES

  1. The Constitution of India
  2. Proclamation of Emergency, Advocatespedia, https://advocatespedia.com/Proclamation_of_Emergency

Aishwarya Says:

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