In this article, we will discuss the difference between martial law and national emergency in a simple and easy way, and try to understand its various important aspects.

Fundamental rights are curtailed in both martial law or national emergency, so it is important to understand both Fundamental Rights and National Emergency . You can understand it through the given link.

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Marshall law and national emergency

Article 34 states that the Fundamental Rights provided by Part III of the Constitution can be restricted when the Marshall Law is in force in any area. That is, whenever martial law is implemented anywhere in India, there can be a restriction on the fundamental rights under Article 34. In such a situation, the ordinary government system is taken over by the military government and it has certain privileges which can be given by the parliament.

On the other hand, talking about the national emergency, it is imposed under Article 352, it is generally arranged in the event of war, external aggression and armed rebellion within the country. In this case Article 19 (which deals with various forms of freedom of expression including that of expression) under Article 358 stands suspended. Also, under Article 359, the President gets the right to suspend other fundamental rights except under Article 20 (Protection in respect of conviction for an offence) and Article 21 (Life and personal liberty).

Difference between martial law and national emergency

Emergency can also be imposed in situations like war, internal unrest, riots or violation of law and martial law too but still there is some fundamental difference between the two. So let’s see what it is- 

In any situation like war, internal unrest or armed rebellion etc., if law and order is broken in any part of the country or there is anarchy, then martial law is imposed in such a situation. 

On the other hand, if we talk about national emergency, even if there is no breach of law and order, it can be imposed even if there is war, external aggression or armed rebellion. 

Martial law completely affects the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. Even where it is in force, the government and the ordinary court of law are suspended.

In other words, martial law simply means taking the general administration under its control by the army. As soon as this happens, the ordinary law is completely abolished and the military administration gets some extraordinary powers. Such as giving death penalty to a citizen, etc.

Martial law can be enforced only in a particular area, whereas emergency can be implemented throughout the country and also in any region. 

Overall, where martial law is imposed, it affects only that area. Whereas a national emergency can affect the entire country simultaneously.

Talking about emergency, not only does it affect the Fundamental Rights, but at the same time the administrative and financial relations between the Center and the State are also affected. The power of the President and Parliament increases. Whereas martial law increases military power.

During martial law, military officers get so much authority that they can even give death penalty to a civilian. At the same time, this cannot be done during an emergency because the normal justice system is not suspended in it. 

No special procedure or system has been mentioned in the constitution with respect to martial law. Whereas a clear explanation of national emergency is mentioned in the constitution. 

Overall, this is the main difference between martial law and national emergency, hopefully understandable. Links of other articles are being given below, do visit them also.

National Emergency and its provisions

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