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Comparison between the National Emergency (352) and President’s Rule (356)

21-NOV-2016 15:22

    The emergency provisions are contained in part XVIII of the constitution, from articles 352 to 360. National Emergency is mentioned in the article 352 and president’s rule is mentioned in article 356 of the Indian constitution. During an Emergency, the Central government becomes all powerful and the states go into the total control of the Centre. It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the Constitution.

    The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies:

    A. An emergency due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion (Article 352). This is popularly known as ‘National Emergency’. However, the Constitution employs the expression ‘proclamation of emergency’ to denote an emergency of this type.

    B. An Emergency due to the failure of the constitutional machinery in the states (Article 356). This is popularly known as ‘President’s Rule’. It is also known by two other names—‘State Emergency’ or ‘constitutional Emergency’. However, the Constitution does not use the word ‘emergency’ for this situation.

    C. Financial Emergency due to a threat to the financial stability or credit of India (Article 360). This type of emergency is never proclaimed in India.

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    Difference between the national Emergency and president’s rule is given below:


    National Emergency  (352)

    President’s Rule (356)


    It can be proclaimed only when the security of India or a part of it is threatened by war, external aggression or armed rebellion.

    It can be proclaimed when the government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution due to reasons which may not have any connection with war, external aggression or armed rebellion.


    During its operation, the state executive and legislature continue to function and exercise the powers assigned to them under the Constitution. Its effect is that the Centre gets concurrent powers of administration and legislation in the state.

    During its operation, the state executive is dismissed and the state legislature is either suspended or dissolved. The president administers the state through the governor and the Parliament makes laws for the state. In brief, the executive and legislative powers of the state are assumed by the Centre.


    The Parliament can make laws on the subjects enumerated in the State List only by itself, i.e. it can’t delegate the same to any other body or authority.

    The Parliament can delegate the power to make laws for the state to the President or to any other authority specified by him. So far, the practice has been for the president to make laws for the state in consultation with the members of Parliament from that state.


    There is no maximum period prescribed for its operation. It can be continued indefinitely with the approval of Parliament for every six months.

    There is a maximum period prescribed for its operation, that is, three years. Thereafter, it must come to an end and the normal constitutional machinery must be restored in the state.


    Under this, the relationship of the Centre with all the states undergoes a modification.

    Under this, the relationship of only the state under emergency with the Centre undergoes a modification.


    It affects fundamental rights (FR) of the citizens.

    It has no effect on Fundamental Rights (FR) of the citizens.


    Every resolution of Parliament approving its proclamation or its continuance must be passed by a special majority.

    Every resolution of Parliament approving its proclamation or its continuance can be passed only by a simple majority.


    Lok Sabha can pass a resolution for its revocation.

    There is no such provision. It can be revoked by the President only on his own discretion.


    Parliamentry Approval and Duration of the emergency:

    The proclamation of Emergency must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within one month from the date of its issue. Initially, the period allowed for approval by the Parliament was two months, but was reduced by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978.  However, if the proclamation of emergency is issued at a time when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution of the Lok Sabha takes place during the period of one month without approving the proclamation, then the proclamation survives until 30 days from the first sitting of the Lok Sabha after its reconstitution, provided the Rajya Sabha has in the meantime approved it. If approved by both the Houses of Parliament, the emergency continues for six months, and can be extended to an indefinite period with an approval of the Parliament for every six months.


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    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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