Chapters :
  • RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNION AND THE STATES – 03
  • Punchhi Commission
  • Emergency Provisions
  • Reasons for the Proclamation of Emergency

  • Types of Emergencies
  • National Emergency
  • Proclamation of National Emergency
  • Revocation of National Emergency
  • Effects of National Emergency
  • Centre-State Relations during National Emergency
  • Effects on life of LokSabha and State Assemblies
  • Effects on the Fundamental Rights

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNION AND THE STATES – 03

 Punchhi Commission

In 2007, the central government appointed a commission under former Chief Justice of India M.M. Punchhi to analyse the centre-state relations and provide necessary recommendations to improve it. The following are the important recommendations given by the commission.
  1. Parliament and the state legislatures should reach an agreement while making laws on subjects in the concurrent list;
  2. Parliament should restrain from making laws on subjects in the state list;
  3. Governors should be assured a fixed term of office;
  4. A strict procedure should be followed in appointing governors;
  5. Governor cannot dismiss the council of ministers in the states as long as they enjoy majority support in the house;
  6. Restriction over the imposition of President’s rule in the states;
  7. Equality of representation of states in the RajyaSabha;
  8. The inter-state council should continuously monitor the centre-state relations.
Emergency Provisions Articles 352 to 360 in Part XVIII and article 365 in Part XIX of the constitution contain provisions to deal with the extraordinary situations. To manage the extraordinary situations such as war, armed rebellion, etc the President of India proclaims ‘Emergency’ on the written recommendation of the union cabinet. Reasons for the Proclamation of Emergency:
  1. To protect the security, sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country;
  2. To protect the constitution and its provisions;
  3. To protect the functioning of the democratic system of government.
Types of Emergencies: The constitution prescribes three types of emergencies to manage three types of abnormal situations. They are
  1. National Emergency
  2. Financial Emergency
  3. Constitutional / State Emergency or President’s Rule.
National Emergency: Under article 352, the President can declare National Emergency on the entire territory of India or a part of it when the security of the entire country or a part of it is challenged by war or external aggression or armed rebellion. When the National Emergency is proclaimed because of war or external aggression, it is called as External Emergency and when it is proclaimed because of armed rebellion, it is called as Internal Emergency. Proclamation of National Emergency:
  1. The President can proclaim a National Emergency only on the written recommendation of the Cabinet.
  2. Under normal conditions, the National Emergency proclaimed by the President must be approved by both the houses of Parliament within one month from the date of proclamation with a special majority. However, if the LokSabha dissolves during the one month period without approving it, the emergency has to be approved within one month after the first sitting of the newly elected LokSabha. However, the RajyaSabha must have approved the emergency in the meantime.
  3. The Emergency is valid for six months. It can be extended for an indefinite period of time with the approval of Parliament every six months. However, If the LokSabha dissolves during the six month duration, the emergency has to be approved within one month from the first sitting of the newly elected LokSabha for its continuation.
Revocation of National Emergency:
  1. The President must revoke the proclamation of emergency if the LokSabha passes a resolution to disapprove it with a simple majority.
  2. The President can anytime revoke the proclamation of emergency by a subsequent proclamation.
Effects of National Emergency: The proclamation of emergency changes the fundamental system of the political organisation in the country from federal to unitary. It thus changes the relationship between the centre and the states. Besides these changes, it has effects on the life of LokSabha and State Legislative Assemblies and on the fundamental rights of the citizens. Centre-State Relations during National Emergency: The legislative, administrative and the financial relationship between the centre and the states undergo changes with the proclamation of emergency.
  1. Legislative Relations:
During National Emergency, the Parliament is empowered to enact laws even on the subjects in the state list. The state legislatures can also make laws on the state list, yet the Parliamentary laws can override the state laws. The Parliamentary laws will cease to be operative after six months from the date of revocation of emergency.
  1. Executive Relations:
During National Emergency, the state executives become subordinate to the executives of the centre. The central government can give directions to the state governments on all the matters.
  1. Financial Relations:
The President can reduce or even stop the sharing of revenues between the centre and the states. All the changes introduced in the financial administration of the centre and the states will remain operative till the end of the financial year in which the emergency is revoked. Effects on life of LokSabha and State Assemblies: During National Emergency, the Parliament can enact a law to extend its term for a period of one year at once beyond its normal term of five years. It can extend its term for an indefinite length of time. However, the extension of term ceases after six months of revocation of emergency. The Parliament can also extend the term of state legislative assemblies in the similar manner. Effects on the Fundamental Rights: According to article 358, when the national emergency is declared on the grounds of war or external aggression, the six FRs guaranteed in article 19 will get suspended automatically. Here, the rights itself will get suspended, not just their enforcement. According to article 359, the enforcement of all other FRs except the rights guaranteed in article 20 and 21 will get suspended. Here, only the enforcement of the rights gets suspended, not the rights itself. The enforcement of these rights will not get suspended automatically, it needs a Presidential order.  
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