Chapter 18: EMERGENCY PROVISIONS
Articles 352 to 360 are emergency
powers of centre. These are given to deal with exceptional
war or rebellion. The powers were influenced by the German
turn Indias federal structure into a unitary one without
amendment to the
Types of Emergencies
Constitution handles three types
of emergencies national, constitutional and financial.
Emergency [Article 352]:
This can be
declared due to war / external aggression [external
emergency] or armed rebellion [internal emergency]. A
proclamation can be
issued by the president for different grounds. It can
be issued when an already
existing proclamation is in force too.
It can apply to entire country or
It can be declared even before an actual
occurrence if president is
satisfied of imminent threat.
The president can declare this only after
recommendation of the entire cabinet.
A proclamation can be subject to judicial
A proclamation must be approved
by both houses within one month by a special majority.
This extends the life of
emergency by six months at a time. This can be done
If Lok Sabha
is dissolved then the approval of proclamation or
extension of its life can be
done by Rajya Sabha.
survives till 30 days after first sitting of the newly
reconstituted Lok Sabha.
proclamation can be revoked by president
anytime [this doesn’t need parliament ratification].
Also Lok Sabha can force a
revocation by disapproving it with a simple majority.
Thus Rajya Sabha has no
role in revocation.
Effects of national emergency:
Centre can issue executive
directions to states on any matters. However state
suspended. Parliament can make laws on matters in the
isn’t in session president can pass ordinances on state
can also confer powers and duties on centre and its
authorities to carry out
tasks under its extended jurisdiction. Such legislative
inoperative within 6 months of the emergency ceasing to
operate. Such laws
apply even to states where the emergency isn’t imposed.
President can modify distribution
of revenues between centre and states till the end of
financial year when
emergency is over. Such orders have to be laid before
law can extend term of Lok Sabha and state legislative
assembly by 1 year at a
time [any number of times]. This becomes inoperable by
the end of 6 months of
Under article 358, all
fundamental rights under Article 19 i.e. Right to
Freedom, are automatically suspended when a
proclamation of national emergency on external grounds
[not armed rebellion] is
declared. This action applies to whole country
not a part.
Any law can be
passed that violates these rights but not any other, such
a law can’t be
invalidated till the emergency is operative. Any action as
per laws also
remains above judicial remedy even after emergency is
Under article 359 a presidential
order can be passed disallowing people from seeking
judicial remedy to enforce
other fundamental rights i.e. article 14-32 that are
specified in that order [
except article 20&21: right to life and liberty] for
a specific period
The rights remain in force
but right to seek remedy is suspended. The
state can make laws abridging the fundamental rights
mentioned in the order such
laws can’t be challenged in court. Any executive action
under such laws is also
protected. Presidential order has to be approved by both
houses. Article 359 is
available even during national emergency on armed
rebellion. The presidential
order can apply to whole country or a part.
2. Presidents rule:
When the constitutional machinery
breaks down in a state, the president rule is imposed by
centre. This can be
proclaimed if the president is satisfied that the
governance of a state can’t
be carried in accordance with the constitution.
In this case, president can act
with or without the governor’s report. Also when a state
doesn’t follow any
directive from the centre, president’s rule can be
Parliament has to approve the
proclamation within two months in both houses by simple
majority. The rule can
be extended by 6 months at a time for a maximum of 3 yrs.
If Lok Sabha is
dissolved Rajya Sabha can approve it but Lok Sabha has to
approve too within 30
days of first sitting after its been reconstituted. Beyond the
first year, president’s rule can be
extended 6 months at a time only if national emergency
is proclaimed in the
country or any part of the state.
Election commission certifies that elections
can’t be held in the state.
Presidents proclamation can be
revoked by president anytime [this doesn’t need
Parliament on its own can’t revoke president’s rule.
It also doesn’t affect
fundamental rights or powers of the high court. All
legislative and executive
power of the states assumed by the president and the state
dismissed and legislature dissolved or suspended.
Governor acts as the president’s
agent and works with the help of chief secretary or
advisors appointed by the centre.
Parliament can assume legislative powers with itself or
delegate to president
or other authority. It can make laws on state list matters
for the state only.
President can issue ordinances on state list matters or
make expenditure from
state budget if parliament not in session.
imposing president’s rule is subject to judicial review.
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