ARTICLE 356 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     13th December 2023        
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Context: The Supreme Court recently held that the declaration of State emergency under Article 356 and the subsequent actions of the President should have a “reasonable nexus”.

Article 356

  • About: In India, President's (or Governor’s) rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct Union government rule in a state.
  • Under Article 356: If a state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions, the Union government can take direct control of the state machinery.
  • Imposed in a State: On recommendation of Governor in case of failure of constitutional machinery.
  • Duration: 6 Months, A maximum of 3 years by approval of Parliament after every 6 months
  • Termination: By President, any time (s)he deems fit; does not need Parliament's approval.
  • Parliament’s Role: Every such proclamation must get Parliament's approval within two months from date of issue.
  • New Provision: The 44th Constitutional Amendment 1978 states that the President's Rule can't be imposed in any state beyond 1 year unless.

oA Proclamation of National Emergency is in operation

oThe Election Commission certifies that the continuance of President Rule is necessary to hold Assembly elections.

Emergency provisions in India

  • National Emergency (Article 352): An emergency due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion.
  • Presidents' rule (Article 356): An Emergency due to the failure of the constitutional machinery in the states. It is also known by two other names–‘State Emergency’ or ‘constitutional Emergency’. However, the Constitution does not use the word ‘emergency’ for this situation.
  • Financial Emergency (Article 360): Financial Emergency due to a threat to the financial stability or credit of India.