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  • Akanksha pandey

NATIONAL EMERGENCY AS A THREAT  TO  DEMOCRACY : AN ANALYSIS

Akanksha Pandey,

Renaissance law college, Indore

NATIONAL EMERGENCY AS A THREAT  TO  DEMOCRACY

INTRODUCTION:

National  emergency is like a “storm ” for a country it happens when there is  a serious threat either from within the country or outside. For example if your shop  is in danger because of natural calamities you take emergency measures to protect it, right ?Similarly ,a  country emergency is when the government takes special actions to protect  the entire country

Basically “ It is like a sounding a alarm  to say” Hey we need to take a special actions to deal with this crisis . with an  increasingly   world  with  diverse  challenges  from  natural  disasters  to pandemics  and  geopolitical  tensions, A national emergency is a state of crisis or threat to a country, either from external forces (such as war or aggression) or internal factors (such as armed rebellion). In India, the provisions related to national emergencies are outlined in Article 352 of the Indian Constitution  It  then  delves  into  the  historical  evolution  of  national  emergencies , tracing  their  roots  from  ancient  civilizations  to  modern nation-state . It  will explore  the Threat to national  emergency  in a simpler terms. We  will  look  where  it  of  the  country.

Article 352 of the Indian Constitution facilities  the provision National Emergency. It can be applied when an extraordinary situation arises that threatens the security, integrity, or sovereignty of the country. During an emergency, the fundamental rights of citizens are temporarily suspended.The President can issue orders to override any constitutional provisions. The President of India has the authority to declare a National Emergency. The grounds for declaring an emergency include war, external aggression, or armed rebellion. The President can declare an emergency only if the Cabinet recommends it.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND  

 India has declared a national emergency three times since independence:

1.Firstly it declared  In 1962  to 1968 during the Sino-Indian War .During the war ,Security of India was declared as a threat from external aggression

2. Then second it declared In 1971 during the War with Pakistan Dr V.V Giri  who was the President of India  Liberation War

3. This is last emergency till now In 1975 to 1977,  This period saw significant eliminate  of civil liberties and political dissent. This  Emergency is often regarded as a dark phase in independent India’s history because this period was marked by unbridled state incarceration, stifling of dissent, and government crackdown on civil liberties.

This type of  national  emergency  may have the following effects:

  • During a National Emergency, the centre would becomes the Executive power and directs the state on any given matter apart from the jurisdictional method.

  • Central can also  make laws on a matter that comes under the states if there is a state of National Emergency

  • A national emergency also  give the power to the President to distribute revenues between central and state

  • The tenure of Lok Sabha might be extended in 5 years case of emergency and increased by six months at a time

Types of emergency:

The emergency is basically  divided into three types based on the grounds of imposition.

External emergency : Article 352 of Part XVIII of the Constitution includes the national emergencies When the emergency is imposed due to war or external aggression, it is called as an external emergency.

Internal emergency:  Article 356 enlists the state emergencies, When the emergency is imposed due to armed rebellion,then it is called as internal emergency.

Financial emergency : Article 360 incorporates the financial emergencies when the situation has arisen due to which the financial stability or credit of India

The procedure of proclaiming National  emergency

The President can only declare an emergency if the Cabinet asks for it in writing. Both Houses of Parliament must then approve the emergency with a large majority vote within a month. If the Lok Sabha isn't in session during the emergency, the Rajya Sabha can approve it in the next month. The emergency lasts for six month  unless Parliament ratifies it. After six months, Parliament must pass another decision to keep the emergency going.

The procedure of revoking National  emergency

The President of India may only revoke the emergency by another declaration if the condition improves seem to be improved . The 44th constitutional amendment requires 10 % percent or more Lok Sabha leaders to share an application for and in the meeting of the Lok Sabha; they may disagree with the emergency, or cancel it by a  majority. In such an incident, it is unserviceable automatically

EFFECTS OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY

1. Fundamental rights:

  • May   involve   temporary   suspension   of   fundamental rights or   constitutional   rights   to address     the   emergency     effectively.

  • Balancing    security   measures   with   individual   freedoms  is   a   delicate  task  during   a   state   of emergency.

  • Makhan Singh v. State Of Punjab[1],  its  validities  on  the suspension of the right to move in  court for the enforcement of Articles 14, 21 and 22 under the proclamation of emergency  was challenged during the Indo-China war.

2. Economic Impact:

  • During the emergency there was a sharp increase in oil prices and the cost of commodities .this high level of inflation caused  distress among citizen.

  • Farmers labours and daily wage worker were particularly affected r raising prices and loss of employment.

3. Centre state relations :

The centre can direct the state on any matter, the parliament provides laws on any subject list even though he does not have right and the President is able to change the revenue distribution between the centre and states

4. Life of lok sabha and state assembly:

The term of the lok sabha (the lower house of parliament) can be extended during an emergency, allowing it to continue functioning beyond its normal tenure

Perspective Of judicial review

The Supreme Court, in the Minerva Mills case[2], held that the National Emergency declared under Article 352(1) of the Indian Constitution is subject to judicial review. Prior to this ruling, there was a belief that the President’s satisfaction regarding the existence of a grave emergency was immune from scrutiny by the courts. However, the Court asserted that there should be no impediment to examining the legitimacy of a presidential proclamation of emergency.

In other words, the judiciary has the authority to assess whether the President’s satisfaction in declaring a National Emergency is based on valid grounds or not. This decision reinforced the principle of the separation of powers and ensured that the executive’s actions during an emergency could be reviewed by an independent judiciary.

WHY IT IS A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY?

1. In a democracy, the centre would becomes the Executive power and directs the state on any given matter apart from the jurisdictional method 

2. These extra power can sometimes be misused .Imagine if you get the superpower you misuse it for own benefits similarly about the national emergency

3. Similarly during a national emergency the government can take  control over the state matters .this can weaken the independence of local leaders and affect how decision are made

4. While emergencies are necessary at a times but too much power if concentrated in one place can harm democracy

CONCLUSION

While a state of emergency can pose a threat to democracy it can also be an opportunity for societies to reaffirm their commitment to democratic values Vigilance citizen participation legal safeguard and a free press are essential in protecting democracy during a state of emergency By upholding democratic principles and values societies can emerge stronger and more resilient from the challenges posed by a state of emergency

REFRENCES

1.Kavita Chandra, “Emergency Provisions in India,; iPleaders (Mar. 10, 2020), https://blog.ipleaders.in/emergency-india/

2.National Emergency Search Results, Indian Kanoon, https://indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=national%20emergency (last visited May 24, 2024).

3.The Emergency (India), Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emergency_(India) (last visited May 24, 2024).

4.Byju’s, “Emergency Provisions,” accessed [ May 27 2024 ], available at

[1][1]Makhan Singh vs State Of Punjab on 27 July, 1988

[2]Minerva mills ltd &ors vs union of india &ors on 31 july 1930

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