It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the Government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution

Debate Summary

Draft Article 277A (Introduced as Amendment)

"It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution."

 

Draft Article 277A (Article 355 of Constitution of India 1950) was absent in the Draft Constitution 1948. The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this provision on 3 September 1949. The Draft Article placed an obligation on the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that States function according to the Constitution.  

 

The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this amendment to clarify the Centre’s intrusion into a State’s domain, in an emergency, would arise out of the Centre’s constitutional obligation and would not be arbitrary or wanton.   

 

A member felt that ‘internal disturbance’ was vague and wanted to replace it with 'internal insurrection or chaos’. He argued that a more specific term like ‘insurrection or chaos’ would prevent the Union to interfere in State’s affairs arbitrarily.   

 

The member pointed that the Draft Article used the phrase external aggression and internal disturbance. He suggested replacing the ‘and’ with ‘or’ so that the Union could interfere in a State's function if either situation emerged. 

 

One defended the Draft Article and went further to argue for such powers even in a non-emergency situation. 

 

All the amendments to the Draft Article were rejected by the Assembly and the Draft Article was adopted as is on 4 August 1949.