The President of India is given the power to proclaim three types of Emergencies to deal with an extraordinary situation according to the constitution of India.
National emergency is proclaimed on grounds of war, external aggression and armed rebellion.
President is empowered to declare the National Emergency under Article 352.
President can declare this emergency after receiving a written recommendation from the Cabinet of Ministers.
During this time, the parliament can make laws on any subject included in the state list which is valid up to a maximum period of six months after the expiry of the Emergency.
Proclamation of this emergency must be approved by the two houses of the parliament-Loksabha and Rajyasabha.
If approved by special majority, National emergency shall be continued for six months.
Six freedoms under Article 19 – Freedom of speech and expression (a), freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India (e), freedom to assemble peacefully and without any arms (b), freedom to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business (g)freedom to form associations or unions or co-operative societies (c), freedom to move throughout India (d) –are automatically suspended only during External Emergency (war or external aggression) and not during Internal Emergency (Due to armed rebellion).
President can suspend all Fundamental Rights of citizens except (1) protection in respect of conviction for offenses (Art. 20) and (2) right to life and personal liberty (Art. 21).
While the proclamation of this Emergency is being done, the normal tenure of the Loksabha and state legislative assemblies may be extended for one year at a time by an Act of the Parliament. This can be done many times, but each year requires the permission of Parliament by an act.
The tenure of 5th Loksabha (1971-1977) was extended by passing the act by Parliament.
The first National Emergency was proclaimed by the then President S. Radhakrishnan when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister on 26th October 1962 due to Chinese aggression. Defence Minister was V.K.Krishna Menon. It was revoked by Zakir Hussain on 10th January 1968.
The second National Emergency was proclaimed by the then President V.V.Giri when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister on 3rd December 1971 due to Indo-Pak war. Defence Minister was Jagjeevan Ram. It was continued during the third National Emergency. This was (5years 3months 18days) the longest National Emergency.
The third National Emergency (First internal emergency due to internal disturbance) was proclaimed by Fakruddin Ali Ahmed on 25th June 1975. Indira Gandhi was the prime minister. Shah’s commission was appointed to infer into the internal disturbance.
Both second and third emergencies were revoked by B.D.Jetty (Acting President) on 21st March 1977.
By the 44th Constitutional amendment act of 1978 renamed the term ‘Internal Disturbance’ as ‘Armed Rebellion’.
There are three emergencies declared by the President. We, in this session saw about National emergency. In the next part, we can see in detail about the two other emergencies.
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