The Indian Constitution provides a detailed insight into the entire government structure, basic rights and duties of the citizen and special provisions. There are a total of 395 Articles in the constitution of India. Enacted on 26th of January, 1950, the Constitution contains Emergency and Special Provisions of the Indian Constitution. Special Provisions relating to Certain Classes are included in Part XVI. The Constitution of India also covers Emergency Provisions in Part XVIII.
Emergency Provisions in the Constitution of India
The Emergency Provisions are mentioned from Article 352 to Article 360 of the Indian Constitution. Below is the list of all the Articles of the Indian Constitution containing the Emergency Provisions:
- Article 352: Proclamation of Emergency - due to external intrusion or war the President of India can declare a state of emergency through a Proclamation. This Article suggests that such a Proclamation can be revoked or a varied Proclamation can also be issued. However, the decision of the Cabinet ministers to issue such a proclamation must be sent to the President in written form prior to his issuance of the same. According to the Article, all such Proclamations should be presented to both the Houses of the Parliament. The Proclamations, if not accepted by a resolution, will be counted as ineffective after one month. If the Proclamation is not accepted after the passing of a second resolution, then it will become ineffective after the expiry of 6 months of the second resolution. It is also mentioned in the Article that not less than two-thirds of the members of any of the Parliamentary Houses should be required to pass a resolution. There are certain rules specified in this Article regarding the President revoking or issuing a varied Proclamation during Emergency.
- Article 353: Effect of Proclamation of Emergency - this Article states that the Proclamation of Emergency includes extending the executive power of the union to the states in the form of directions. The Parliament, as per this Article, can confer the power to make laws, upon the officers or authorities of the Union.
- Article 354: Application of provisions relating to distribution of revenues while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation - provisions made under Articles 268 to 279 can be modified or exceptions can be made by the President of India by an Order while the Proclamation period of emergency is going on. Information about all such Orders must be conveyed to both the Houses of Parliament.
- Article 355: Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance - this Article states the fact that the Union or Center is solely responsible for defending the various states from all types of violence and aggressions erupting from outside and disturbances occurring within the nation's territory.
- Article 356: Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States - the President of India can take charge of a state if the reports submitted to him by the Governor suggest that the government of the state has become incapable of exercising the Constitutional powers. The President is also subjected to exercise the powers of the government of such state by Proclamation. The Proclamation issued under such circumstances become ineffective after 6 months from the date of issuance, if not revoked during this time period. All such Proclamations have to be presented to both the Houses of Indian Parliament and will expire after two months. The Legislative powers of such state shall also be exercised by the Parliament. In the Houses of Parliament there are certain rules and regulations regarding the expiry of the Proclamation and the time period normally depends upon the fact whether it has been revoked earlier or not.
- Article 357: Exercise of legislative powers under Proclamation issued under article 356 - the powers of the Legislature shall be exercised by the Parliament during emergency. The Parliament has the right to delegate Legislative powers to the President of India or any such authority. The President of India, after the Proclamation of Article 356, can make laws and shall have access to the consolidated fund during the time period when the House of the People is not in operation.
- Article 358: Suspension of provisions of article 19 during emergencies - any provision under Article 19 will not be effective during emergency and the states can make law and undertake executive action. However, only those laws and executive actions containing recital related to emergency during the Proclamation of Emergency are effective as per the Article.
- Article 359: Suspension of the enforcement of the rights conferred by Part III during emergencies - the President of India can suspend all ongoing proceedings in any court of the nation during emergencies by an Order. The President can also call upon all pending court proceedings in case of emergencies. All such orders declaring the suspension of court proceedings have to be submitted to both the Houses of Parliament.
- Article 359A: Repealed - amendment has been done under the constitution Act 1989
- Article 360: Provisions as to financial emergency - a declaration shall be made by the President of India through a Proclamation regarding the financial crisis of the nation if such situation arises. Such a Proclamation can be revoked and has to be presented in both the Houses of the Parliament. The Proclamation thus issued will become null and void after two months if the same is not approved through a resolution passed by the Houses of Parliament. In case the Houses are not in session the Article suggests certain specific guidelines regarding the Proclamation. This Article also includes provisions relating to the salary and allowance reduction of those who are employed with Union and state departments. A provision relating to money bills and other financial bills passed by the state Legislature is mentioned in the Article. This provision states that all such bills have to be considered by the President during financial instability.
Special Provisions Relating to Certain Classes
The Constitution of India has listed the special provisions relating to certain classes in Part XVI. From Article 330 to Article 342, the special provisions have been clearly indicated. Below is a detailed list of all the special provisions relating to certain classes:
- Article 330: Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People - this Article states that a certain number of seats should be reserved in the House of the People for both the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. However, clause b of the Article includes Schedule Tribes excluding those who live in the autonomous districts of Assam. Clause c of the Article includes the Schedule Tribes belonging to the autonomous Assam districts. It is also mentioned in this Article that the total number of such seats assigned to the Schedule Tribes of autonomous Assam districts should match the total number of seats allotted in the House of the People. The seats alloted to the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes of a particular state or Union Territory should be proportional to the total number of seats reserved for such state or Union Territory in the house of the People.
- Article 331: Representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in the House of the People - it is specified in this Article of the Indian Constitution that the President of India has the sole right to elect a maximum of 2 members belonging to the Anglo-Indian section to represent the entire community.
- Article 332: Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States - This Article of the Constitution states that a definite number of seats in every state's Legislative Assembly should be alloted to the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. The Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes of the autonomous districts of Assam are also given seats in the Legislative Assembly. It is also specified that a person not belonging to the Schedule Tribes category of Assam state cannot contest the Legislation Assembly election from any of the constituencies of the districts of the state. Also, all areas outside the periphery of the districts of Assam should not hold any constituency of the Legislative Assembly of the Assam state. The total seats alloted to the state Legislative Assembly of Assam should be in proportion of the total population and the share of the SC/ST in such population.
In case of such states as Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, as per the Constitution Act 1987, if all the seats of the Legislative Assembly after the first census of 2000, belong to the Schedule Tribes, then only one seat shall be alloted to other communities. Also, the total number of seats alloted to the Schedule Tribes shall not be less than the existing number of seats in the Assembly of the state.
The Article suggests that the the total number of seats of Schedule Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of Tripura state should be proportional to the total number of existing seats in the Assembly. As per the Constitution Act 1992, the number of the Schedule Tribe members in the Legislative Assembly of Tripura shall not be less than the total number of seats already available in the Assembly.
- Article 333: Representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the Legislative Assemblies of the States - according to this Article of the Constitution of India if the Governor of any state thinks it necessary to elect one representative of the Anglo-Indian community for the Legislative Assembly of that state then he can do the same. Also, if the governor feels that Anglo-Indian community does not have sufficient representation in the state Legislative Assembly then also he can elect one member of that community for the Assembly.
- Article 334: Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after 289A - This Article holds the fact that after 60 years of the enactment of the Indian Constitution, certain provisions shall become ineffective. However, it is also specified that the Article will not be applied until and unless the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly gets dissolved because of some significant reason. The Provisions with which this Article deals with include reserving seats for Anglo-Indian community, Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly.
- Article 335: Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts - The Article states that the various claims of the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes shall be regarded accordingly. Relaxation of age, lower cut off marks and easier parameters of evaluation for the purpose of selecting SC/ST candidates to different posts and services will remain intact irrespective of the provisions mentioned in this Article.
- Article 336: Special provision for Anglo-Indian community in certain services - as per this Article, for such posts of Union as postal and telegraph, customs and railway, the members of the Anglo-Indian community will be selected, for the first two years of the initiation of the Constitution, following the rules prevailing before 15th August, 1947. It is also specified that in every two years the total number of seats allotted to the Anglo-Indian community in different services and posts will go down by 10%. The Article states that these provisions will become ineffective after 10 years of the enactment of the Indian Constitution. However, clause 2 of this Article clearly mentions that if a candidate of the concerned community is eligible for any post other than the ones mentioned above then he will be selected with immediate effect.
- Article 337: Special provision with respect to educational grants for the benefit of Anglo-Indian community - the provisions of this Article deal with the fact that grants to the Anglo-Indian community shall be offered in the first three years of the enactment of the Constitution following the same rules made on 31st March 1948. It is also stated that the amount of such grants will reduce by 10% in every three succeeding years. It is mentioned that after 10 years of the initiation of the Constitution of India all such grants will cease to exist. Moreover, the Article states that only when at least 40% of the admissions in educational units belong to communities other than Anglo-Indians, such grants will be offered to the said community.
- Article 338: National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes - This Article covers the issues to be dealt with by the said Commission exclusively made for the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. As per the Constitution of India, the Article holds that the Commission should include a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other members all of whom are elected by the President of India. The Commission, according to the Article, has the power to investigate all matters that are related to the safeguard of the Sc/STs. The commission can also exercise its power by summoning any person from any part of the nation to interrogate him regarding a particular issue of the SC/STs. The Commission shall also take necessary measures to improve the socio-economic status of the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. A report specifying whether the safeguards of the ST/SCs are maintained properly shall be submitted to the President of India every year by the Commission.
- Article 339: Control of the Union over the administration of Scheduled Areas and the welfare of Scheduled Tribes - the Article suggests that a Commission specifying the administration of Scheduled Areas and Welfare of Scheduled Tribes shall be formed by Order of the President after 10 years of the Indian Constitution's enactment. The various procedures and powers of the commission are to be included in the said Order. Planning and execution of various schemes pertaining to the development of the Schedule Tribes included in the executive power of the Union is also mentioned in the Article.
- Article 340: Appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes - this Article specifies that the President of India can form a Commission by Order that will look into the overall condition of the people belonging to the backward classes. This Commission is also supposed to recommend any state or union the necessary steps through which the underprivileged classes can improve their social and economic status. On the basis of the investigation done, the Commission shall submit a report to the President of India. The President, in turn, shall present such report with a memorandum to both of the Houses of the Indian Parliament and will prescribe the necessary steps to be taken to develop the condition of the backward classes.
- Article 341: Scheduled Castes - this Article states that the President of India after taking the advice of the Governor of any state or Union Territory, has the right to demarcate tribes, races or castes or a part of any group as Scheduled Castes, in accordance with the law of the Constitution. The president can do the same by issuing a public notification. However, the Parliament of India can, by law, accept or reject the list containing the Scheduled Caste groups.
- Article 342: Scheduled Tribe - a group belonging to a tribe or an entire tribal community of a state or an Union Territory can be declared as Scheduled Tribe by the President of India through issuing a public notice. The President consults with the Governor of the concerned state or Union Territory before specifying a tribe as Scheduled Tribe. The Parliament of India can decide upon canceling or keeping the particular ST in the list of Scheduled Tribes. However, the public notification issued for declaration of the Scheduled Tribe can be saved by the Parliament.
Last Updated on : 25 January 2011