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Emergency Provisions


A state of emergency in India refers to a period of governance that can be proclaimed by the President of India during certain crisis situations. Under the advice of the cabinet of ministers, the President can overrule many provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees Fundamental Rights to the citizens of India.

The emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIII of the Constitution of India, from Article 352 to 360. These provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation effectively.

The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies-

National Emergency

As it is very clear from the opening words of the above stated heading,national emergency deals with constitutional provisions to be applied,whenever there are inbalance in the society in the whole country and not in a particular or specific region or state.

Art. 352 reads that-

  • Proclamation of Emergency: (1) 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.

Explanation: 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.

Provisions have been made in the Constitution for dealing with extraordinary situations that may threaten the peace, security, stability and governance of the country or a part thereof.

The Constitution of India has provided for imposition of emergency caused by war, external aggression or internal rebellion. This is described as the National Emergency. This type of emergency can be declared by the President of India if he is satisfied that the situation is very grave and the security of India or any part thereof is threatened or is likely to be threatened either, by war or external aggression by armed rebellion within the country. The President can issue such a proclamation even on the ground of threat of war or aggression. According to the 44th Amendment of the Constitution, the President can declare such an emergency only if the Cabinet recommends in writing to do so.

Title of the topic basically talks about two main and important factors of Indian Constitution of India i.e. “Emergency provision & fundamental rights”

When the Constitution of India was being drafted, India was passing through a period of Stress and strain. Partition of the country, communal riots and the problem concerning the Merger of princely states including Kashmir. Thus, the Constitution-makers thought to Equip the Central Government with the necessary authority, so that, in the hour of emergency, When the security and stability of the country is threatened by internal and external threats. Therefore, some emergency provisions were made in Constitution to safeguard and protect the security, integrity and stability of the country and effective functioning of State Governments.

Changes After Enactment

The 38th Amendment Act of 1975 made the declaration of National Emergency immune to judicial review. But, this provision was subsequently deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978.

In Minerva Mills case (1980), the Supreme Court held that National Emergency can be challenged in the court on the ground of malafide or that the declaration was based on wholly extraneous and irrelevant facts.

Created on 2020/10/19 23:13 by • Last modified on 2020/12/11 08:27 by LawPage