EMERGENCY PROVISIONS IN INDIA AND 1975

INTRODUCTION
A state of emergency in India is a period of government that the President of India can declare in specific emergency situations. The President, on the recommendation of his cabinet of ministers, can override certain articles of the Constitution that give Fundamental Rights to Indian citizens. Only on the proposal of the Cabinet, the President of India can declare a state of emergency under Article 352 in the event of war, external attack, or armed insurrection, or the threat while under Article 356, emergency can be declared only when there’s a failure of constitutional machinery and under Article 360 financial emergency is proclaimed. In the upcoming context, we will be discussing only about Article 352 and its declaration in 1975.

ARTICLE 352 (National Emergency)
War, external aggression, or armed insurrection can all trigger a national emergency. The term ‘proclamation of emergency’ is used in the Constitution to describe such a situation. Every such proclamation must be laid before Parliament and it ceases to be in operation unless it is approved be resolution of both the Houses of Parliament with special majority within a month from the date of its issue and gets a fresh lease of 6 months from the date it is approved. Article came to the existence after the 44th amendment act. Whenever the emergency provisions are raised, the control over the states of the country lies in the hands of center and they can instruct the states in whichever regarding exercise of executive powers. During emergency tenure, Parliament can extend the normal life of the LOK SABHA for the period of only one year at a time, and not exceeding 6 months after the proclamation has ceased to operate and parliament can also legislate regarding state subjects.
During this time, the President can modify the provisions of the constitution relating to the allocation of financial resources between the Union and the States by his own order. Such order is subject to approval by Parliament and has no effect beyond the financial year which the Proclamation itself ceases to operate.

EMERGENCY DECLARED BY INDIRA GANDHI
On the midnight of June 25, 1975, the then PM Indira Gandhi advised the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to declare a state of internal emergency in India using Article 352 without any prior notice in Lok Sabha. In 1971, Indira Gandhi’s won the general elections with a huge majority. She had won popular support with pro-poor and leftist policies like the nationalization of banks and the abolition of the Privy Purse. Gandhi wielded almost autocratic control over the cabinet. She had absolute control over the government. The 1971 war had reduced the GDP of the country. The country also faced many droughts and an oil crisis. Unemployment rates had also spiked up. Adding fuel to the fire was George Fernandes, a labor leader who led railway workers in a national strike in 1974 in an attempt to paralyze the transportation system of the country and its economy. Yet there was worse to come. The lightning bolt hit on June 12, 1975, the same day. The news was received on the PMO’s ticker machine that an Allahabad high court judge had ruled that Indira Gandhi was guilty of electoral malpractice that during the 1971 general election. The verdict invalidated the election of Mrs. Gandhi as an MP and for six years debarred her from holding an elective office. There were fairly minor charges in which Indira Gandhi was found guilty but the nation’s mood was different. From North India to another, there was just a single cry “Indira must go”. It was these circumstances, on June 26, 1975, that led Mrs. Gandhi to enforce the emergency.

CONCLUSION
The Emergency Declaration highlighted the fault lines that can be manipulated to bring about an authoritarian rule in Indian democracy.
In 1976, during the time of internal emergency, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act was passed, which strengthened the union executive and contributed to the further centralization of power.
There were four main purposes for this amendment:
• Exclude the judiciary from election controversies entirely;
• Strengthen the central government vis-à – vis the governments of states
• To provide socially transformative legislation with full immunity from a judicial challenge;
• To minimize judicial interventions in legislative matters. The amendments could not be challenged on any basis in any court; and there should be no restriction on the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution ‘by way of extension, variation, or repeal.’

Aishwarya Says:

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