Indian Constitution has been called as a bag of borrowing because it has borrowed many of its features from different constitutions around the world. The Provisions of Emergency have also been borrowed from Germany.
Emergency means a situation in which there is a failure of the governance system and which calls for an instant action to be taken so that the appropriate steps can be taken timely to attack such situation.
In an Emergency, the Centre takes control over all the powers relating to decision making in order to ensure that speedy remedies are provided for the situation which has arisen. Thus it can be said that while the Emergency is imposed in India, it becomes a Unitary form of Government for the period of Emergency.
In India, the makers of the constitution had realized that some situations may arise in the future in which there will be need of such provisions and therefore they had adopted this provision in the constitution to ensure that India would be ready for such situations.
While Emergency provisions are necessary, it should not be resorted to by the Government for every problem which arises in the nation and thus all of the other alternative methods for solving such a situation should be used, and only when these methods cannot be used to effectively tackle such a situation, Emergency can be used for solving the grave problem.
Under the Indian Constitution, there are 3 types of Emergency which can be proclaimed,
A National Emergency is proclaimed by the President under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution in situations of grave threat to the security of India which can arise by armed rebellion or by war or by external aggression. Earlier the word ‘internal disturbance’ was used in Article 352 but after the 44th Amendment of the constitution it was replaced by the words ‘armed rebellion’ because internal disturbance had a vague meaning and could be misused for applying Emergency even in those situations where there was no need for it.
Article 355 imposes a duty of the centre to provide security to the States from any external aggression or internal disturbance so that they can continue their Governance in an orderly manner. But in a situation where there is a failure of the Constitutional machinery in a State, Article 356 provides the provision for imposing Emergency in that State and it is known as State Emergency.
The Constitution of India not only provides for Emergency in cases of threat of security to India at National and State level but it also gives recognition to the economic threat that may also arise in certain situations and therefore in case of such an occasion arising, Article 360 provides the provision for imposing Financial Emergency in the Country.
The power to proclaim emergency has been provided in the Constitution to ensure that if a situation of crisis arises in the country, the Constitutional provisions do not hamper the Government from taking quick actions.
While this has been the purpose of these provisions, many times such provision has been misused by the political parties for their personal gains, therefore the judiciary has to continue keeping a check on such proclamations. While financial emergency has not been proclaimed as of now, the judiciary should be prepared for such situation as well because this can also be misused in some unexpected manner and it could hamper the growth of the nation. Thus, keeping a strong check on such proclamations is the only way of ensuring its proper use.