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Emergency Provisions

 Emergency Provisions (Art. 352-360)


  • The emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIII of the Constitution of India, from Article 352 to 360. These provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation effectively.

  • It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the Constitution.

  • Federal Form of government: Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern.

  • Unitary form of government: 

    • Unitary Features of constitution make a centralized government.

    • It is a government in which all powers held by the government belong to a single, central agency.

    • A unitary system is governed constitutionally as one single unit.

    • All power is top down.

    • A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as one single unit.

Unitary Features of the Indian Constitution

  • Strong Centre

  • The States can not get separated

  • All-India Services

  • Three lists

  • Emergency provisions

Emergency Provisions

  • The emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIII of the Constitution of India, from Article 352 to 360. These provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation effectively.

  • The rationality behind the incorporation is to safeguard the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of the country, the democratic political system and the Constitution.

  • Proclaimed by the President of India during certain crisis situations.

  • Proclamation under the advice of the cabinet of ministers.

  • The President can overrule many provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees Fundamental Rights to the citizens of India.

Types of emergencies

  • The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies-

           National Emergency (Art. 352)

           Constitutional Emergency (Art. 356)

           Financial Emergency (Art. 360)

National Emergency (Art. 352)

  • If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, he may, by Proclamation, make a declaration to that effect in respect of the whole of India or of such part of the territory thereof as may be specified in the Proclamation.

  • This term ‘armed rebellion’ is inserted from the 44th amendment. Before this term it was known as internal disturbance.

  • The 38th Amendment Act of 1975 made the declaration of National Emergency immune to judicial review. But, this provision was subsequently deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978.

    • Minerva Mills v. Union of India (AIR1980 SC 1789) 

   the Supreme Court held that National Emergency can be challenged in the court on the ground of malafide or that the declaration was based on wholly extraneous and irrelevant facts.


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