Martial law and FR

  • Article 34 provides for the restrictions on FRs while martial law is in force in any area within the territory of India
  • Parliament is authorized to indemnify any government servant for restoration of law and order whilst martial law is in force even if those actions were violative of FRs
  • The concept of Martial law has been borrowed from British
  • Despite its mention, the term ‘martial law’ has not been defined in the constitution
  • There are no grounds mentioned for the imposition of Martial law
  • During the operation of martial law, the military authorities are vested with abnormal powers to take all necessary steps.

However, the SC held Habeas Corpus is not suspended when martial law is in force


Difference between Martial law and National Emergency

Martial law National Emergency
It affects only FR It affects FR, centre-state relations etc
It suspends the government and ordinary law courts Continues their existence
Imposed to restore law and order War, external aggression or armed  rebellion
Imposed in some specific areas of the country Some or whole of the country
No specific provision in the constitution Specific and detailed provision