Emergency Provisions

Introduction

  • Emergency provisions in the Indian Constitution empower the central government to deal with exceptional circumstances threatening the security, integrity, and stability of the nation.
  • These provisions ensure effective governance during emergencies while upholding the democratic framework.

Types of Emergencies

1. National Emergency (Article 352)

  • Grounds for Proclamation:

    • Armed rebellion (internal disturbance) or war (external aggression or armed conflict).
    • Imposition when the security of India or any part of its territory is threatened.
  • Effects:

    • Central government gets the authority to override fundamental rights except those related to life and personal liberty (Article 21).
    • The Union can take over the powers and functions of the states and Parliament can make laws on subjects in the State List.

2. State Emergency (President's Rule) (Article 356)

  • Grounds for Proclamation:

    • If the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen in a state where the government cannot be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
  • Effects:

    • President can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of the state.
    • The state legislature can be dissolved or suspended.

3. Financial Emergency (Article 360)

  • Grounds for Proclamation:

    • If the President is satisfied that the financial stability or credit of India or any part thereof is threatened.
  • Effects:

    • The President can issue directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons.
    • The President can also order the reduction of salaries and allowances of the members of Parliament.

Conditions for Declaration of Emergency

  • National Emergency:

    • Requires a written recommendation from the Cabinet.
    • The proclamation must be approved by both houses of Parliament within one month.
  • State Emergency:

    • Based on the report of the Governor of the state or otherwise ascertained.
    • No parliamentary approval is needed initially but must be placed before Parliament within six months.
  • Financial Emergency:

    • The President can declare it without receiving advice from the Cabinet.
    • Requires parliamentary approval within two months.

Duration and Revocation

  • The proclamation of an emergency must be approved by both houses of Parliament within a specified period.
  • The emergency remains in operation for six months and can be extended with parliamentary approval.