Some members of the Constituent Assembly criticised the incorporation of emergency provisions in the Constitution on the following grounds:
K T Shah described them as:
‘A chapter of reaction and retrogression. (. . .) I find one cannot but notice two distinct currents of thought underlying and influencing throughout the provisions of this chapter: (a) to arm the Centre with special powers against the units and (b) to arm the government against the people . . . Looking at all the provisions of this chapter particularly and scrutinising the powers that have been given in almost every article, it seems to me, the name only of liberty or democracy will remain under the Constitution’.
T T Krishnamachari feared that ‘by means of these provisions the President and the Executive would be exercising a form of constitutional dictatorship’.
H N Kunzru opined that ‘the emergency financial provisions pose a serious threat to the financial autonomy of the States.’
However, there were also protagonists of the emergency provisions in the Constituent Assembly. Thus, Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar labelled them as ‘the very life-breath of the Constitution’. Mahabir Tyagi opined that they would work as a ‘safety-valve’ and thereby help in the maintenance of the Constitution.
While defending the emergency provisions in the Constituent Assembly, Dr B R Ambedkar also accepted the possibility of their misuse. He observed, ‘I do not altogether deny that there is a possibility of the Articles being