EMERGENCY POWERS

KINDS OF EMERGENCIES ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION

 National Emergency: Article 352

State Emergency: Article 355, 356

Financial Emergency: Article 360

NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Article 352 provides that if the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, he may, by Proclamation, make a declaration to that effect in respect of the whole of India or of such part of the territory thereof as may be specified in the Proclamation

A Proclamation of Emergency declaring that the security of India or any part of the territory thereof is threatened by war or by external aggression or by armed rebellion may be made before the actual occurrence of war or of any such aggression or rebellion, if the President is satisfied that there is imminent danger thereof.

  • Duration of Emergency: A first instance for one month and after approval by the Parliament, 6 months.
  • Territorial Extent: To whole or any part of India

Effect of Proclamation:

1. Extension of Centre’s Executive Power: Article 353

2. Parliament empowered to legislate on state subjects: Article 250

3. Centre empowered to alter distribution of revenue between the union and state: Article 354

 4. Extension of life of Lok Sabha: Article 83(2) Proviso

 5. Suspension of Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Article 19: Article 358

6. Suspension of right if enforcement of fundamental right: Article 359 except Article 20 and 21.

The enforcement of all other rights is suspended.

Case Laws

Makhan Singh v State of Punjab [1]

The Supreme Court held that as soon as the proclamation of emergency is issued under Article 352, Article 19 is suspended and becomes operative as soon as the proclamation ceases to operate.

ADM Jabalpur v Shivkant Shukla [2](Habeaus Corpus Case)

The Supreme Court held that the writ jurisdiction of Supreme Court & High Court cannot be invoked during issuance of proclamation of emergency so the writ of Habeaus corpus was not invoked.

K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India[3]

The Supreme Court overruled the judgement given in ADM Jabalpur case. Justice D.Y Chandrachud held that the ADM Jabalpur case was flawed.

STATE EMERGENCY

 Article 355: Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

 • Failure of Constitutional Machinery in the State: Article 356

• If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, he may issue a proclamation by that procedure

1. assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

2. declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;

3. make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the president to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation

Case Law

S.R. Bommai V Union of India [4]

In this case ,guidelines were issued by Supreme Court to impose President’s Rule in the state:

1. Presidential proclamation dissolving a state legislature assembly is subject to judicial review

 2. If state government works against secularism, presidential rule can be imposed

 3. If presidential rule is imposed only on Political considerations, the court can restore the assembly.

Imposition of Presidency Rule & Dissolution of State assembly can’t be done together.

1. State Assembly can be dissolved only after parliament approves Central Rule.

2. Supreme Court or High Court can compel the Union Government to disclose material on whose basis the President Rule is imposed on the State

3. Power of President is constitutional power (Art. 356). It is not absolute power.

  • Duration: At first instance 2 months and after approval by Parliament, 3 years

FINANCIAL EMERGENCY 

Article 360-If the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened, he may by a Proclamation make a declaration to that effect.

  • Duration: At first instance 2 months
  •  Effect: During the period when financial emergency is in operation, the Union can give directions to the state to observe such financial measures which may bring financial stability. During this period, the salaries of Government servants including judges of Supreme Court and High Court are reduced.

CONCLUSION

The judiciary through K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India has attempted to bury the darkest chapter of its own history, but only time will tell whether it has been finally buried. In India, the National Emergency has been declared thrice. Article 356 has been misused multiple times in India. In a 2015 report, Sarkaria Committee noted that since Independence, it has been used over 100 times. In almost all cases, it has been used for political considerations rather than any genuine problem. However, after S.R. Bommai V Union of India, the abuse of power has been reduced to certain extent. India is yet to experience financial emergency, hence nothing can be commented on Article 360.

REFERENCES

Constitution of India by J.N Pandey


[1] 1964 AIR 381,1964 SCR (4) 797

[2] AIR 1976 SC 1207

[3] AIR 2017 SC 4161

[4] 1994 AIR 1918, 1994 SCC (3) 1

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