EMERGENCY IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     28th June 2024        
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Context: President of India, addressing a joint session of Parliament, described the imposition of National Emergency in 1975 as the country's "biggest and darkest chapter," reflecting on its historical significance and impact.

Emergency Provisions in India

  • About: The Emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIII of the Constitution, from Articles 352 to 360.
  • During an Emergency, the Central government becomes all powerful and the states go into the total control of the Centre

National Emergency (Article 352)

  • Grounds of Declaration: Under Article 352, the President can declare a national emergency when the security of India or a part of it is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion.
  • External Emergency: If the national emergency is declared based on the grounds of 'war' or 'external aggression,' it falls under the category termed as 'External Emergency.'
  • Internal Emergency: Conversely, if the declaration is based on the grounds of 'armed rebellion,' it is categorized as an 'Internal Emergency.'
  • 44th Amendment Impact: The term 'armed rebellion' was introduced in the 44th amendment, replacing the previous term 'internal disturbance' in the context of declaring emergencies.
  • Parliamentary Approval: The proclamation of Emergency must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within one month from the date of its issue
  • Duration: The emergency continues for six months, and can be extended to an indefinite period with an approval of the Parliament for every six months.
  • Revocation of Proclamation: By the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation. Such a proclamation does not require the parliamentary approval.

Effects of National Emergency

  • Centre can direct state executive actions during national emergency.
  • Parliament can legislate on State List subjects during emergency.
  • Parliament can extend Lok Sabha term beyond five years during emergency.
  • Parliament can extend state assembly term during emergency.
  • Article 358 suspends Article 19 Fundamental Rights during emergency.
  • Article 359 suspends access to courts for Fundamental Rights enforcement during emergency.