In this article, we will discuss Emergency Provisions (India). So, let’s get started.
The Emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIll of the Constitution, from Articles 352 to 360. These provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation etfectively. The rationality behind the incorporation of these provisions in the Constitution is to safeguard the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of the country, the democratic political system, and the Constitution. During an Emergency, the Central government becomes all powerful and the states go into the total control of the Centre. It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a 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. In this context, Dr. BR Ambedkar observed in the Constituent Assembly that’: ‘All federal systems including American are placed in a tight mould of federalism. No matter what the circumstances, it cannot change its form and shape It can never be unitary. On the other hand, the Constitution of India can be both unitary as well as federal according to the requirements of time and circumstances. In normal times, it is framed to work as a federal system. But in times of Emergency, it is so designed as to make it work as though it was a unitary system. The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies:
An emergency due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion (Article 352). This is popularly known as ‘National Emergency’. However, the Constitution employs the expression proclamation of emergency’ to denote an emergency of this type.
An Emergency due to the failure of the constitutional machinery in the states (Article 356). This is popularly known as ‘President’s Rule’. 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 due to a threat to the financial stability or credit of India (Article 360).