Emergency Provisions - UPSC Polity Notes

As evident from the word “emergency”, it refers to the unexpected turn of events that causes the public authorities to take instant actions within their boundary. Human civil rights, except Articles 20 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, are removed from the state or Nation during an emergency. Most of the emergencies are brought about by breaking down administrative machinery.

Dr B.R Ambedkar declared the Indian federal structure as special because of its ability to become unitary when an administrative apparatus fails.

The key idea behind legislative arrangements for emergencies was to safeguard the region from autocracy paired with domestic chaos, wars, and foreign assaults. The Black Law Dictionary describes that any emergency demands immediate intervention and imminent warning, as such a condition is a threat to both people and liberty within the region.

Historical Context of Emergency Provisions UPSC Syllabus

The framers of the Constitution faced a dilemma in deciding the extraordinary arrangements under which the President may declare an emergency. The pre-independence era of India is known for its instances of destructive casteism, communalism, and religious tension.

With the defeat of the Monarch of Kashmir, a state of conflict arose with Pakistan. Junagarh and Hyderabad have shown reluctance towards their membership in the Union of India. To mitigate the issue and to prevent the separatist action, the Government of India devised Article 352.

The post-Independent India was coming up with Socialist regimes, and the communist activities of Telangana’s workers and farmers were spreading. Article 356 was introduced to ensure safety against extreme emergencies and protect legislative processes.

Article 360 was later added to the list by Dr B.R Ambedkar to cushion the country’s financial position that was drastically falling along with foreign currency reserves and branches.

Important Events and Emergency Provisions in Indian Constitution

Emergency in the Indian Constitution can be differentiated as National Emergencies, State Emergencies, and Financial Emergencies. Part XVIII of the Constitution contains the emergency provisions in India.

  • Article 352 demarcates the National Emergency: According to Article 352, the President may declare an emergency when the region is under a state of attack, external intrusion, or internal rebellion. Though such a declaration could only be made in the presence of the legislative house and further supported by each chamber, the emergency was withdrawn after a month of announcement.

The first emergency in the Nation was declared during the war with China, which lasted between 1962 and 1968. After that, the most contentious emergency was declared due to internal conflict by Smt. Indira Gandhi.

  • State Emergency has been included in Article 356: Article 356 marks out that the President can declare a state emergency on receipt of briefs by the Governor of a particular state or by the President’s observation on degrading mechanisms of the state. Thirty-five instances of President rule have been recorded under the rule of Smt. Indira Gandhi.
  • Financial Emergencies are in Article 360: The President can declare financial emergencies if convincing evidence of an unstable economy and credibility is encountered. Executive and legislative factors play a central role in declaring a financial emergency. According to Article 360, a corresponding proclamation will be withheld during the entire emergency period. Financial emergency has never been declared in India.

The 44th Amendment changed the picture of emergency provisions in the Indian Constitution that restricted the executive’s unjust influence as previously done in 1975. The “internal disturbance” is replaced by “armed rebellion.” It is also clearly stated that direct communication between cabinets must occur to declare an emergency. Moreover, the residents should be re-approved every six months to proceed with the emergency. Finally, the state of emergency can be annulled by a simple majority of the Houses.

The above-mentioned facts are extremely vital for IAS preparation. Aspirants may also expect objective-type questions from this topic in the Current Affairs section of the upcoming competitive exam papers.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

For the best preparation strategy for competitive exams candidates can visit the linked article and get detailed study material and preparation tips to excel in the examination.

Furthermore, get the latest exam updates, study material and preparation for the upcoming government exams at BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions on Emergency Provisions

How can emergencies be classified broadly?

Three types of emergencies are addressed in the Constitution of India: Nation Emergency, State Emergency, and Financial Emergency. Article 352 of Part XVIII of the Constitution includes the national emergencies, Article 356 enlists the state emergencies, and Article 360 incorporates the financial emergencies.

Are all human civil rights removed during an emergency?

When the President declares the emergency, all civil rights except articles 20 and 21 of the Indian Constitution are removed from the region.

Why was article 356 introduced in Part XVIII by the constitution framers?

After gaining independence, communist activities among workers and farmers of Telangana started to spread. The Government inferred the socialist regime to be a serious threat to the country’s civil order. This led the Constitution to arrange for extreme emergencies. Thus, article 356 was formulated to ensure the functioning of legislative processes.

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