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Article 355


Source: TH

 Context: The Centre has taken control of security in Manipur (by allegedly invoking Article 355), deploying 12 companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) and airlifting anti-riot vehicles to the northeastern state.

  • The move comes after at least ten people were killed by mobs, and several villages and community-specific urban localities were destroyed during tribal clashes.


Article 355 of the Indian Constitution:

DefinitionArticle 355 empowers the Union government to protect every state in India against external aggression and internal disturbances.
Article 356 Vs Article 355Article 356 empowers the President to impose President’s Rule in a state in case of a failure or breakdown of constitutional machinery, while Article 355 empowers the Union government:

·        To protect every state in India against external aggression and internal disturbances

·        To issue directions to any state to ensure compliance with the Union’s laws and regulations

Part of ConstitutionPart XVIII of the Indian Constitution, titled “Emergency Provisions”.
PrincipleBased on the principle of “duty to protect” enshrined in the Constitution.
RestrictionsDirections can only be given when there is a failure of the state machinery to comply with or give effect to any Union law or regulation; should be of an urgent nature and may not extend beyond the necessary period for remedying the failure; state government should be given an opportunity to submit its views before issuance.
DurationNot specified in the Constitution.
WithdrawalCan be withdrawn by the Union government when the situation is normalized or the state government requests it to do so.
Circumstances of impositionFailure of the state to comply with the Union’s directions; threat to the security of India; threat to unity and integrity of India due to violent activities by any group or organization; request for assistance from the Union to maintain public order when the situation in the state cannot be controlled by the state’s own forces.
Scope of judicial reviewThe satisfaction of the President in invoking Article 355 is subject to judicial review and can be challenged in court if it violates any fundamental rights or constitutional provisions.

For Issues in Manipur: