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Judiciary

[COVID-19]: PIL Filed In SC Seeking Imposition Of Financial Emergency (Article 360) Amid Pandemic [Read Petition]

By Aarya Mishra      31 March, 2020 12:03 PM      0 Comments
COVID19 Financial Emergency Article360 Pandemic

A PIL has been filed in the apex court on March 26, 2020 seeking declaration of financial emergency amid Corona virus pandemic.

Focusing on the efficient dealing of the issue, the Petitioner (Center for Accountability and System Exchange) stressed that Financial Emergency under Article 360 of the Constitution should be imposed as a “Unified Command” by Center and state will prove more helpful rather than a different set of command which is creating confusion and lawlessness in an already difficult situation.

As per the petitioner, after the 21 days lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March, 2020 different states and police authorities took independent action under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in the guise of orders issued by the central government which “amounts to constitutional fraud”.

This use of emergency provisions of Constitution is required not only to defeat the war against coronavirus but also in recovery of the Indian economy after lockdown is over,” the petition states.

Further the CASC has asked to the Supreme Court to issue such directions for the Government to provide necessary directions for suspension of collection of utility bills (electricity, water, gas, telephone, internet) and EMI payments liable to be paid during lockdown.

Directions have also been sought for the state police and local authorities to strictly comply with home ministry instructions so that essential services are not disrupted.

The petition filed through advocate Virag Gupta has made a request for urgent hearing through video-conferencing by the top court.

Article 360 of the Constitution:

  1. Article 360 states that if the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or the credit of India or any part thereof is threatened, President may declare a state of financial emergency.
  2. During the period such Proclamation is in operation, the executive authority of the Union extends to the giving of directions to any State to observe such canons of financial propriety as may be specified in the directions, any such directions may also include:
  3. A provision required the reduction of salaries and allowances of all or any class of person serving a State or the Union.
  4. A provision requiring all Money Bills or other Financial Bills to be reserved for the consideration of the President after they are passed by the legislature of the State.
  5. A Proclamation issued under Article 360 will remain in force for two months unless before the expiry of the period it is approved by both the Houses of the Parliament.
  6. A proclamation issued under Article 360 will remain in force for two months unless before the expiry of the period it is approved by both the Houses of the Parliament.
  7. Once approved it remains in force till revoked by the President.
  8. No emergency under Article 360 has been issued so far.

 

Impact of 360:

The proclamation of Financial Emergency may have the following consequences:

  1. The Union Government may give direction to any of the States regarding financial matters.
  2. The President may ask the States to reduce the salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons in government service.
  3. The President may ask the States to reserve all the money bills for the consideration of the Parliament after they have been passed by the State Legislature.
  4. The President may also give directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances of the Central Government employees including the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

 

[Read Petition]



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