The 48th constitutional amendment introduces a new provision in subsection (5) of section 356 of the constitution to provide that in the case of a proclamation issued by the president on 6 October 1983 in relation to the Punjab state, parliament may pass a resolution on the declaration. 

Section 356 of the Constitution of India covers provisions in the event of a failure of the constitutional machinery in the province. It gives the president the power to issue a declaration if he is satisfied that there is a situation in which the state government cannot act in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Significantly, the president can do something about the governor’s report or otherwise (that is, even without the governor’s report). A proclamation enacting a Presidential decree must be approved by both houses of parliament within two months from the date of its administration. 

The Bill was considered by the Lok Sabha on 23 August 1984, and passed on the same day with a formal amendment changing the short title to “The Constitution (Forty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1984”. The Bill, as passed by the Lok Sabha, was considered and passed by the Rajya Sabha on 25 August 1984. The bill received assent from then President Giani Zail Singh on 26 August 1984. It was notified in The Gazette of India, and came into effect on the same date. 

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows:  

1. Short title -This Act may be called the Constitution (Forty-eighth Amendment) Act, 1984. 

2. Amendment of article 356 -In article 356 of the Constitution, in clause (5), the following proviso shall be inserted at the end namely – 

Provided that in the case of the Proclamation issued under clause (1) on the 6th day of October, 1983 with respect to the State of Punjab, the reference in this clause to “any period beyond the expiration of one year” shall be construed as a reference to “any period beyond the expiration of two years”. 

Presidential decree may be enacted in the state under any of the following circumstances – 

1. The legislature cannot elect a leader as Prime Minister for a term determined by the Governor of that state. 

2. The dissolution of a coalition which results in the Minister having a limited amount of support in the house and the Prime Minister fails / will inevitably fail to prove otherwise, within a period determined by the Governor of that state. 

3. Loss of Many in the Legislature due to a vote of no confidence in the house. 

4. Elections have been postponed for unavoidable reasons such as wars, epidemics, epidemics, or natural disasters. 

5. In the report of the Governor-General if the state-owned state legislature or legislature fails to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. 


  1. The proclamation issued by the President under section 356 of the Constitution on October 6, 1983 in respect of Punjab Province may not be valid for more than one year unless the special conditions set out in subsection (5) of Article 356 of the Constitution are met. 
  1. Although the Legislature has been suspended and the popular government may be suspended, given the current state of affairs in the State, the continuation of the Declaration beyond 5 October 1984 may be necessary. 
  1. In order to facilitate the adoption of the resolution by the two Houses of Parliament authorizing the continued operation of the Declaration dated 5 October 1984, it is necessary to amend section 356 of the Constitution. 
  1. It is therefore proposed that the subsection (5) of section 356 be amended to give effect to the provisions that are deemed invalid for the purpose of further operation of this Declaration for a period of two years from the date of publication. 


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