Indian Constitution

Emergency Provision and Special Provisions of the Indian Constitution

In the constitution of India, part 18 deals with the provisions related to the emergency. Throughout the history of India, this part particularly has been subject for many attacks by the critics. When the constitution was framed, many debates and agitated scenes were witnessed for this part in the constitutional assembly. Out of those scenes, the most that influenced the emergency provisions were the Weimar constitution of Germany.

Constitution of India

constitution of India

Emergency Provision and Special Provisions of the Indian Constitution

There are different articles that are applied as far as the emergency is concerned in the constitution of India. One of them is the article 352. In this article, if the president feels that there is a danger under which the security or any other part of India is under threat than he/she can proclaim an emergency.

This emergency being enforced may be a part of a whole of India. There are certain conditions which are very important to understand. They are:

  • For a war emergency, a proclamation cannot be made unless the union cabinet gives it in writing.
  • The further proclamation can revoke the proclamation of a formal declaration of emergency.
  • When the proclamation is not revoked than subsequently it should be laid out for the parliament.

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Effects and consequences of emergency

When the emergency is declared, the directions to the state executive will be extended by the union in an emergency area. Also, parliament has the power to extend the subject that is being held to the various states list.

Other than this, the president can prohibit or restrict the revenues that are normally distributed to the states. This is done under the financial provision of the constitution.

Meanwhile, the power of issuing directions to the state executives is acquired by the union government. Thus, they can also exercise power. Also, the parliament is authorized to legislate on the subject of the state. So, states can also make laws during the emergency.

But this can be subjected to the overriding of the power for the parliament. Also, under the emergency, the power of Lok Sabha cab extended up to 1 year. Here the period should not be beyond six months after it is operated.

Constitutional emergency in states

If a governor convinces a president of a situation that has arisen wherein the constitution of India is in danger than he/she can declare the emergency. Thus, in this case, all the power will be assumed by the president. So, the president can declare that the powers belonging to the state legislature will be exercised by the parliament.

Impact of emergency on the fundamental rights of the citizens

When the emergency is declared, under article 358 and 359, the state has the power to revoke the fundamental rights in article 19. Here state means that the power to revoke this operation of fundamental rights is not only with parliament. But it also lies with the union executive.

Furthermore, it can also be exercised by the subordinate authority. Also, the president has the power to suspend the right where he/she can move the court of law. This is done to protect the enforcement of fundamental rights.

Thus, it means that entire fundamental rights can be suspended during the emergency. However, this type of orders needs to approve before the parliament as soon as possible.

Practice Question on Constitution of India

Q. An emergency due to external aggression, armed rebellion,  or war comes under article 365.

A. True                                    B. False

Answer: B. False

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