Emergency in India 

Emergency in India: Brief history ( 1975) & Constitutional Provisions

Emergency in India


Basics About Emergency in India

Emergency in India: Emergency Provision is given in section 18 of the Indian constitution, Articles 352-360. Our emergency provision was taken from the Weimar constitution (1919-33), Germany. Our constitution has three types of emergency

a). National Emergency (Article 352): National Emergency is imposed when following situations occur like war, External Aggression, Armed Rebellion (Internal disturbance).

b). Presidential Rule (Article 356): Presidential Rule is a type of emergency in India which imposed on the ground of failure of constitutional machinery in the states ( Article 356 ) or Failure to comply with the directions of the centre ( Article 365).

c). Financial Emergency (Article 360): The Financial emergency is imposed on the ground of threat to the financial stability of credit of India.

Emergency in India 

How Many times Was National emergency imposed in India?

There are total three National emergency periods faced by Indians.

a). National Emergency (1962-1968): The reason for this emergency period was India- China (1962) war and India- Pakistan war.

b). National Emergency (1971): This time emergency was imposed due to India- Pakistan war for South Pakistan (Now Bangladesh).

c). National Emergency ( 1975 ): Most Controversial because the actual reason of the emergency was not declared yet, only “ Internal Disturbance” word is used by the Indira Gandhi government to justify this darkest night of Indian history.

Emergency in India 

(Image source: Quora)

How government imposed National Emergency in India?

Most important step, By the President, On the written advice of the Union Cabinet ( 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978)

Parliament approval ( Lok sabha + Rajya Sabha ) by the special majority in 30 days ( 44th Amendment Act).
Proclamation and procedures fall under judicial Review (Minerva mills case 1980 ).

After 6 months again parliamentary approval required to continue national emergency ( 44th Amendment Act ).

How government removes National Emergency in India?

President: President has the supreme power to remove national emergency any time.

Lok Sabha: Members of Lok Sabha can remove National Emergency by a just simple majority.

44th Constitutional Amendments made difficult to impose National Emergency and easier to remove it.

FDI in India: Latest limits of 2018

What happens during Emergency in India?

  • Center controls the laws making power and use it in own way if they don’t like states rule.
  • Effect on the life of Lok Sabha and states assembly, it can extend up to 1 year.
  • Effect on Fundamental Rights: Fundamental Rights ( Article 19) suspended in the situation of National emergency. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association and Freedom of Expression but the Rights to the protection in respect of conviction for offenses (Article 20) and the Rights to Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21) remain unenforceable during National Emergency.

National Emergency in India (1975-1977)

Now the main topic of this article is National Emergency in India at 1975 which is the most controversial issue of India till this time because that time Emergency imposed by the Former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi mainly to retain her political control in the country. This emergency was imposed on 26 June 1975 to 21 March 1977. The president of India of that time was Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad. He imposed emergency in pressure of Indira Gandhi.

Emergency in India 

Why Indira Gandhi Imposed Emergency in India (1975)?

There was mainly two reason for this darkest event,

a). Raj Narain Case:

Raj Narain was a freedom fighter and famous politician who fought Lok Sabha election against Indira Gandhi from Rae Bareilly on 1971 General Election. In this election Indira Gandhi won the election by 2-1 margin but Raj Narain filled petition against Indira Gandhi on Allahabad Court and alleging that Indira Gandhi used unfair practices to win this election and on 12 June justice Jagmohanlal Sinha declared Indira Gandhi as guilty of this case and disqualify Indira Gandhi as the member of Lok Sabha and barred her from contesting again for 6 years.

b). JP movement / Total Revolution:

Nav Nirman Andolan in Gujarat by students and Bihar movement by students headed by Jay Prakash and veteran socialist against Indira Gandhi’s anti-democratic activities during that time which was also the major reason of emergency because due to that movements Mrs. Gandhi felt that they will lose that power if she not done anything that time.

Emergency in India 


The Darkest Night of Indian History

That was really the darkest period of Indian history. Indira Gandhi took the entire democratic system of the country in her hands. Laws were again rewritten in her way. Almost all the opposition leaders were arrested and there was firing on slum dwellers in Delhi. Usually, article 20 and 21 are not suspended during the emergency as mentioned in our constitution but during 1975 emergency all the rights were suspended including both article 20 and 21 during her reign. There were forced sterilization campaigns. Due to all this Congress lost the 1977 general elections to Janta Party and Morarji Desai was elected as the new PM. The new government set up a Shah commission whose main work was to look into the conditions caused due to actions were taken in the emergency. The commission found out that there was no credible reason for imposing emergency. After that 44th constitutional amendment act 1978 was passed which we had discussed earlier in this article.

2 thoughts on “Emergency in India: Brief history ( 1975) & Constitutional Provisions”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *