Emergency provisions

This article tries to explain briefly the emergency provisions of our constitution. The emergency provisions include Art.352 to Art.360. emergency is a situation which arises due to the failure of the government authority that causes immediate action from the authority.

The power of imposing all three types of Emergencies is vested upon the President of India. The concept of Emergency was borrowed from the Constitution of Germany. The three types are as follows –

Article 356 – President’s Rule

Article 352 – National Emergency

Article 360 – Financial Emergency.

Article 352 discusses about the Proclamation of Emergency.

During the times of such emergency the executive, legislative and financial power rests with the centre whereas the state legislature is not suspended. National emergency has been imposed thrice in the country- in 1962 at time of Chinese aggression, in 1971 during the India Pakistan war, in 1975 due to internal disturbances.

Article 353 discusses about the Effect of Proclamation of Emergency.

the power of Parliament to make laws with respect to any matter shall include power to make laws conferring powers and imposing duties, or authorising the conferring of powers and the imposition of duties, upon the Union or officers and authorities of the Union as respects that matter, notwithstanding that it is one which is not enumerated in the Union List is explained in this article.

Article 354 talks about the Application of provisions relating to distribution of revenues while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation which is by the President not extending in any case beyond the expiration of the financial year in which such Proclamation ceases to operate, as may be specified in the order, have effect subject to such exceptions or modifications as he thinks fit. Every order made shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.

Article 355 discusses about the Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the Government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 356 Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States that is the President’s Rule.

 If the President, on receipt of a report from the Governor of a 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, the President may by Proclamation 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 authority of the State other than the Legislature of the State and can also declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament.

The President can 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, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this Constitution relating to anybody or authority in the State, Provided that nothing in this, shall authorize the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts. Article 357 deals with the Exercise of legislative powers under Proclamation issued under article 356.

Article 358 says about the Suspension of provisions of article 19 during emergencies.

Nothing in article 19 shall restrict the power of the State as defined in Part III to make any law or to take any executive action which the State would but for the provisions contained in that Part be competent to make or to take, but any law so made shall, to the extent of the incompetency, cease to have effect as soon as the Proclamation ceases to operate, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before the law so ceases to have effect. Article 359 deals with the Suspension of the enforcement of the rights conferred by Part III during emergencies.

Article 359A that is about the Application of this Part to the State of Punjab is Repealed from the Constitution of India that was inserted in the 63rd amendment , 1989.

 Article 360 deals with the Provisions as to financial emergency.

The president under this Article 360 of the constitution has the power to declare financial emergency if he is satisfied that the financial stability or the credit of India or any part of its territory is threatened. It has to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament and ceases to operate at the expiration of two months unless meanwhile approved by the resolution of Houses.

During the operation of financial emergency, the executive authority of the union extends to the giving of directions to any state to observe certain specified canons or financial propriety and such other directions that the President may find necessary. The directions may include reduction of salaries or allowance of those serving a state, of all those in connection with the affairs of union including judges of high court and Supreme Court. There has been no occasion of financial emergency in India.

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