The Emergency Provisions & Elections: Revision Notes UPSC Notes | EduRev

Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

UPSC : The Emergency Provisions & Elections: Revision Notes UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Emergency Provisions

The President can make proclamation of 3 kinds of emergencies:

(i) Emergency due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion (Article 352);

(ii) Failure of constitutional machinery in the States (Article 356);

(iii) Financial Emergency (Article 360).

Emergency Due to War etc.

The actual occurrence of war or armed rebellion is not necessary to justify a proclamation; the president may make such a proclamation if he is satisfied that there is an imminent danger of such external aggression or armed rebellion.

But no such proclamation can be made by the President unless the union ministers of cabinet rank, headed by the Prime Minister, recommend to him, in writing, that such a proclamation should be made.

While the 42nd Amendment made the declaration immune from judicial review, the 44th Amendment rectified the situation; now the constitutionality of the proclamation may be possibly questioned in a court on the ground of malafides.

The 44th Amendment also provided that proclamation under Article 352 may be made in respect of the whole of India or only a part thereof. Every such proclamation must be laid before both Houses of Parliament and approved by them within one month from the date of its issue; otherwise the proclamation ceases to be operative. It will terminate at the end of 6 months from the date of the resolution unless Parliament passes a fresh resolution for its continuation. The duration of an emergency can be extended by six months at a time. Every such resolution must be passed by a special majority in each House.

Effect of this Emergency

The Centre shall acquire the power to give directions to a State on any matter, the State Government will not be suspended, it will be under the complete control of the Union Executive.
Parliament can make laws on any matter even in the State List. Parliament may, by law, extend the normal life of Lok Sabha for a period not exceeding one year at a time, and not extending in any case beyond a period of 6 months after the proclamation has ceased to operate. The President can modify the provisions relating to allocation of financial resources between the Union and the State. However, the order of the President has to be approved by the Parliament and is not effective beyond the financial year in which the proclamation itself ceases to operate.

 The fundamental rights available to citizens under Article 19 of the Constitution stand automatically suspended during Emergency. The President can also suspend other rights by order (except the rights available under Articles 20 and 21).

Proclamations So Far

The first time Emergency was declared in October 1962 in the wake of Chinese attack on India; it was lifted in January 1968. The second Emergency was declared in December 1971 when Pakistan launched an undeclared war against India and continued in operation till March 1977. The third proclamation was made in June 1975 on the ground of ‘internal disturbance” and it was revoked in March 1977. Proclamation of Emergency on the ground of “internal disturbances” has been substituted by the words “armed rebellion” by the 44th Amendment Act.

Emergency Due to Constitutional Break Down

Article 356 authorises the President to make a proclamation of Emergency if he is satisfied that the government of a State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provision of the Constitution, either on the report of the Governor or otherwise.
Such a proclamation may also be made where any State has failed to comply with, or give effect to, any directions given by the Union, in the exercise of its executive power to the State (Article 356).
The proclamation has to be placed before each House of Parliament for approval and ceases to operate on the expiration of two months unless each House approves it by resolutions.
The proclamation remains in operation (after Parliamentary approval) for six months and can be extended by Parliament for a further six months.
The continuance of this emergency beyond one year is possible only if

  1. A proclamation of Emergency under Article 352 is in operation, and
  2. The Election Commissioner certifies that there are difficulties in holding elections to the State Legislative Assembly concerned.

Even after compliance with these conditions, the maximum duration of such an emergency can be three years.

Effect of this Emergency

The President can assume to himself all or any of the powers of the Governor of the State. This type of emergency has been declared more than 85 times and in practically all the States. The first emergency of this kind was declared in Punjab in 1951. 

Financial Emergency : The President can declare Emergency if he is satis-fied that a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of India or of any part of its territory is threatened. Such an emergency shall ordinarily remain in force for a period of two months, unless before the expiry of that period, it is approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament. If approved it operates for six months and can be extended by six months at a time. It can remain in operation for a maximum period of three years. No proclamation of this Emergency has been made so far.

National Cadet Corps (NCC)

  • National Cadet Crops (NCC), established in 1948, is the premier youth organisation in the country today.
  • It aims at developing qualities like leadership, comradeship, spirit of sportsmanship and the ideals of service among the youth. Students of universities, colleges and higher secondary schools can join NCC on a voluntary basis.
  • It has a strength of approximately 11.2 lakh cadets (both boys and girls) drawn from 130 universities.
  • The NCC cadets have no liability for active military service.
  • The Directorate-General of NCC, located in Delhi, under the control of the Ministry of Defence, heads the organisation.
  • The Director-General, NCC holds the rank of a Lieutenant General.

Eelections

The Constitution in Article 325 stipulates a singleelectoral roll for every territorial constituency.  There is no provision for communal, separate or special representation.  The election is based on adult suffrage, i.e. everyperson who is not less than 18 years of age is entitled to vote at the election provided that he is not disqualified by provisions of the Constitution or law made by the appropriate legislature.

Election Commission

The Election commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and such other commissioners as the President may decide from time to time.  In 1989 the then Government appointed two ElectionCommissioners to cope with the increased work of the Election Commission on account of lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 years. However, subsequently the National Front Government abolished both these posts and reverted to the earlier position.  In October, 1993, the Congress (I) Government underNarasimha Rao, appointed two Election Commissioners through an ordinance and provided that the Election Commission shall take all decisions unanimously or by majority.  This ordinance was challenged by the Chief ElectionCommissioner in the Supreme court, which in turn passed on interim order upholding the supremacy of the Cheif Election Commissioner over the two Election Commissioners.  The ordinance has now become a law. Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners are appointed by the President for a term of six years.  The term can be cut short on account of resignationor removal by the President on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity on the recommendations of the Parliament.

The main functions of the Election Commission are:

  1. the preparation of electoral rolls before each general election and registration of all eligible voters,
  2. the delimitation of constituencies,
  3. the recognition of various political parties and allotment of election symbols to these parties,
  4. the preparation of a code of conduct for the political parties,
  5. the tendering of advice to the President regarding disqualification of members of Parliament,
  6. the conduct of elections to Parliament, state legislatures and the offices of President and Vice-President,
  7. the appointment of election officers to look into disputes concerning election arrangements,
  8. the preparation of roster for central broadcasts and telecasts by various political parties,
  9. keeping voters lists up-to-date at all times,
  10. to issue Identity cards to the voters.
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