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National Emergency Definition, Introduction, Types: Article 352 and FAQs

National Emergency: An emergency is a state of temporary situation declared within the territorial boundaries of a state during which certain fundamental liberties of its citizens are kept in suspension. According to established international law, such state can only be declared by lawful means, and some core Human Rights such as the right to life and the arbitrary deprivation of life, the right not to be tortured, and the prohibition of forced labor can never be derogated or set aside, even in a state of emergency. In this article, we are providing important notes and points related to Emergencies. It is an important topic of General knowledge for all the government job aspirants.

PM Modi remembers all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protects Indian democracy.In the series of tweets, PM Modi tweeted about the Emergency stated “The #DarkDaysOfEmergency can never be forgotten. The period from 1975 to 1977 witnessed the systematic destruction of institutions. Let us pledge to do everything possible to strengthen India’s democratic spirit, and live up to the values enshrined in our Constitution. This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos. We remember all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protected Indian democracy. #DarkDaysOfEmergency”

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National Emergency Notes: Introduction

The President of India can proclaim an Emergency if he/she is assured that it is justified and can take under the direct charge of the administration of any state. President must get a written recommendation from the cabinet before proclaiming an Emergency.

  • The Emergency provisions are mentioned in Part XVIII of the Constitution, from Articles 352 to 360. All these provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation effectively.
  • During the time of an Emergency, the central government becomes all-powerful and the states go into total control of the Centre. This converts the federal structure of democracy into a unitary one without any formal amendment of the Constitution. This kind of transformation of the political system from federal during normal times to unitary during Emergency is a unique feature of the Indian constitution.

National Emergency Notes: Types

Emergency provisions are written in the constitution of India in order to maintain the sovereignty, Unity, Integrity & Security of the country. There are 3 emergencies mentioned in the constitution.

  1.  National Emergency: President of India can declare a national emergency in case of war, external aggression or any armed rebellion. The president can declare an emergency even before the occurrence of the threat if the President thinks that there is an imminent danger. A national emergency is declared on the ground of war or external aggression it is called ‘External Emergency’. The word ‘Armed Rebellion’ replaced the word ‘Internal Disturbances’ with the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978.

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National Emergency was first declared in India in 1962 during the Chinese aggression on the northeast frontier agency. The second National emergency was declared during the 1971 war against Pakistan. The third emergency was declared in  June 1975 due to internal disturbance

2. State Emergency: Under Article 355, duty is imposed on the centre to ensure that the government of every state was carried in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. Accordingly, if there is a failure of constitutional machinery in a state, the centre can take over the state government under Article 356. This is known as State Emergency/ President’s Rule. President’s Rule was first imposed in Punjab in 1951.

3. Financial Emergency: Under Article 360 the President of India possess the power to proclaim the financial Emergency. If the president is sure that a situation has arisen that financial stability and credit of India or any part thereof is threatened he may proclaim an emergency to that effect. All such proclamations can be varied or revoked by the President. Financial Emergency must be approved by the Parliament within 1 month after its proclamation. Once it is approved, it will remain until the president revokes it.

National Emergency Notes: Article 352

As per articles 352 of the Indian Constitution, if the President of India thinks that the security of India is threatened due to outside aggression or armed rebellion then the President can issue a proclamation to that effect regarding the whole of India or a part of it. The proclamation of emergency could be revoked by the president subsequently. The proclamation of emergency made under article 352 can be subjected to judicial review and it can be challenged in the court according to the constitution on the grounds of malafide. The proclamation made must be approved by both the houses of parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) within one month. The effect of the proclamation of emergency is the full-fledged Unitary Government that is opposite of the federal government.

During its implementation, the state executive and legislature continue to function and exercise the powers assigned to them under the Constitution. Central govt. gets concurrent administration and legislation powers of the state.

National Emergency Notes: Frequently Asked Question

Q. When was the word “armed rebellion” added to the Constitution to declare a National Emergency?

Ans. The word ‘Armed Rebellion’ replaced the word ‘Internal Disturbances’ with the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978.

Q. How soon imposition of the National Emergency should be approved by the Parliament?

Ans. The emergency must be approved by the Parliament within 1 month after its proclamation.

Q. Which kind of emergency will be imposed in the case of war, external aggression and armed rebellion?

Ans. In the situation of war, external attacks and armed uprising National Emergency is imposed. 

Q. Who declares the Emergency?

Ans. The President declares the emergency on the advice of the Union Cabinet headed by the prime minister.

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