Military, Diplomatic and Emergency Powers of President of India

This article deals with the Military, Diplomatic and Emergency Powers of President of India

Emergency Powers of the President

President of India can declare 3 types of Emergencies.

  • National Emergency as per provisions of Article 352
  • State Emergency as per provisions of Article 356
  • Financial Emergency as per Article 360.

National Emergency:

The National Emergency can be declared due to a war, external aggression, armed rebellion in whole of India. This has been declared in India since independence for 3 times as follows:

  • Between 26 October 1962 to 10 January 1968 during the India-China war on account of “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by external aggression”.
  • On 3 December 1971 originally proclaimed during the Indo Pakistan war, and later extended on account of “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by external aggression”.
  • Between 26 June 1975 to 21 March 1977 under controversial circumstances of political instability under the Indira Gandhi’s prime ministership on account of “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by internal disturbances”.

Emergency: the coordination of President, CoM and Parliament

The president can declare such emergency only on the basis of a written request by the council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister. It must be approved by the parliament within 1 month. It can be imposed for 6 months and subject to extensions by repeated parliament approvals. In the event of National Emergency 6 freedoms gets suspended, however, Right to Life and personal liberty don’t suspend.

State Emergency:

State Emergency is called President’s Rule. In India almost all states have tasted this emergency. This is declared on account of ” failure of Constitutional Machinery in the state’ and is declared on the basis of report of Governor or other sources. It must be approved by parliament within 2 months. It is imposed for 6 months subject to maximum extension of 3 years. Beyond three years, the constitution would be required to amend for the extension. During such emergency Governor administers the state in the name of the president. During the state emergency, all money bills of the state are referred to parliament for approval. During the state emergency, parliament makes laws on “subjects of state list” for particular state.

Financial Emergency:

If the President of India is satisfied that there are circumstances in which the financial stability or credit of the country is threatened he / she may declare financial emergency as per article 360. It has not been declared in India ever. In the financial emergency, almost all financial powers are assumed by the president.

Military Powers of President:

  • Article 53 vests the supreme command of the Armed Forces of India in the President. President of India can declare war or conclude peace, under the regulation by the parliament.

Diplomatic Powers of President

  • India is represented on International forum by President of India. He sends and received ambassadors.
  • All international treaties and agreements are concluded on behalf of the President subject to ratification by the parliament.

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