This blog is part of the series Constitution simplified
Very quickly then, most of us are familiar with the 3 types of emergencies.
#a. When can they be imposed?
3 conditions – War, External Aggression, Armed Rebellion
Note1: Armed Rebellion was changed from Internal Disturbance on the recommendation of the Shah Commission. Internal Disturbance was a vague term prone to misuse.
Q1: What’s the difference between War and External Aggression?
No technical difference! The President makes a “Proclamation of Emergency”. If it says its a war, its a war likewise of external aggression.
Flashback : Lets go back to the time of the Emergency. All it took then was an oral instruction by the then PM Indira Gandhi to President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (who received a lot of criticism).
To understand National Emergency, we need to examine the 44th Amendment Provisions whose sole purpose was to put a check on such powers of the President.
Effect on FR (2 clauses here)
Art. 20 and 21 are fundamental of the FRs and cannot be suspended. Interested readers can read the story of Judge Khanna’s courage here.
If the President is satisfied that there exists a situation where the State Admin. cannot be carried in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he can make a Proclamation of Failure of Constitutional Machinery in a State.
Ambedkar had envisaged Art. 356 to remain a dead letter in the Constitution. Much to his surprise it has been used not less than 119 times during the first 63 years.
Such a proclamation lapses after 2 months, unless approved by the Parliament by a simple majority. Once approved, it lasts for 6 months which can again be extended for 6 more months subjected to maximum of 3 years.
To extend it beyond 1 year, 2 conditions must be fulfilled
The President can
Effect on FR : No Effect
If the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of India or of any part of the territory thereof is threatened, he may by a Proclamation make a declaration to that effect.
It will ordinarily remain in force for 2 months, unless its is approved by both the houses. If LS is dissolved in this period, similar clause as that of the National Emergency applies.
The financial autonomy of the states is transferred. The President can
Effect on FR : No Effect
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Mention that checks and balances put in place to curb the improper use of Art. 356.
Hint : R. Bommai vs Union Of India