• Indian government is a Federal govt, which is often termed weak, because power is divided in to various steps. But this also makes sure there is no dictatorship form in government. And our Constitution has provided with emergencies when unified action is needed under any internal or external circumstances.
  • 3 types of Emergencies:
    • Article 352: National emergency-emergency due to war, external aggresion or armed
    rebellion. (has been implied only once for 19 months 1975-1977)
    • Article 356: emergency due to failure of constitutional machinery in States (has been
    implied many times)
    • Article 360: Financial emergency (has never been implied)
  • 42nd amendment: 1976
    44th amendment: 1978
  • Article 352:
    • If President is satisfied that there is threatening os war, extrnal aggression or armed rebellion, he may declare emergency on whole or any part of India.
    • Firstly the Ministers of Cabinet must pass him, in written, prolamation of such threat. And that proclamation is to be passed (more than 2/3 of members present and voting) in both Parliaments within one month.
    • If passed it shall exist till six months from the date of last passed in second House.
  • Article 353: Under emergency:
    • executive power of Union shall extend to giving directions to the State
    • Union has power to impose any power on Union or officers and authrities of Union
    • any other State could also handled the executive powers by the Union
  • Article 354: Distribution of revenues while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation: should not extend to expiration of financial year in which Proclamation ceases to operate.
  • Article 355: Duty of Union to protect any State from external aggression / internal disturbance and to ensure that State is carried on with provisions of the Constitution
  • Article 356:
    • If President on receival of report from Governor of a State is satisfied that the State Govt can’t carry in accordance to Constitution, the President may proclaim
    • Assume himself all functions of Governor or other powers excpet those of State Legislatures or High Court
    • Proclamation must be passed before each House of Parliament
    • Proclamation expries in 6 months unless it is reapproved in both the Houses of Parliament
  • Article 357: Parliament undertakes all the powers invested in State Legislatures, or to the group
    assigned by the President.
  • Article 358: No Rights mentioned in Article 19 could be taken away from citizens in any emergency
  • Article 359: Suspension of enforcement of rights (Articles 20, 21) in Part 3 of constitution
  • Article 360: If President is satisfied that there is financial instability, a Proclaimation could be made
    • passed in each House of Parliament
    • cease to operate after 30 days if one House is dissolved
    • President could reduce salaries & allowances of any class of persons under Union, including Judges of Supreme court and High courts.


  • Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister
  • Jay Prakash Narayan- a Marxist leader led Bihar movement, demanding action against price rises, unemployment, corruption, and also Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet
  • Allahabad High Court barred Mrs Gandhi from electoral office for 6 yrs
  • She asked President to declare emergency under Article 352(1), on the grounds of internal security threat
  • June 1975- 1977 (19 months)
  • Suspension of Fundamental rights- Articles 14, 19, 21, 22
  • 42 nd Amendment (1976) made all Presidential actions unjustifiable in court
  • ‘Press Council’ was dismissed
  • Such steps were not taken even during wars of 1948, 1962(Sino-Indian), 1965, 1971; nor ever taken since then
  • More than 1 lakh people were detained without trial
  • About 16 judges were transferred for political reason, because they gave Habeus Corpus writ to the govt, and many other judges faced problems due to opposing Mrs. Gandhi
  • UN, US, UK, western countries remained silent throughout
  • Sanjay Gandhi spread conception and vasectonomy by utilising poverty
  • End on-March 1977

    Elections of 1977: first time non-Congress party in power
    44 th Amendment: Even President’s actions could be challenged in court after emergency. Article 20, 21 could never be suspended