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What is Article 355 of Indian Constitution?

Considering the law and order situation in West Bengal, some politicians demanded the invoking of Article 355 to ensure the State is governed as per the provisions of the Constitution.

What is Article 355?

It states that-

“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.”

Cases for its invocation

  • This article thus comes handy when there are communal violence incidents. Over the period, this article has gained a different texture.
  • We know that the “public order” and “police” are state subject and states have exclusive power to legislate on these matters.
  • These subjects were entrusted to states because states would be in better position to handle any law and order problem.
  • Management of Police by states was also seen as administratively convenient and efficient.
  • However, there might be some circumstances where states are unable to maintain public order and protect people.
  • In such situation, centre can invoke article 355 and take measures such as taking law and order of state under its own hand, deployment of military etc.

Source – The Hindu

December 2023