Martial Law in India

However, no law gives the definition of martial law in India, but it takes the power from the constitution of India. Article 34 of the constitution, provides restrictions to the fundamental rights of the citizen during the time of martial law. The military of the country do domestic activities mainly in three categories: 

First- The military helps the civilian authorities by doing rescue missions in non-law enforcement circumstances. 

Second- Military help the local authorities in the cases of law enforcement like riots etc. 

Third- On some occasions when the military of the country took the place of the local authority to run the particular place. This third category is called martial law. 

It is a power that allows the military of the country to take over the particular area at the time of war to save the citizen of the area. In this article, we will know the meaning and rules of martial law.

Martial law meaning

Martial law is a power of the military that is used at the time of emergency. Martial law allows the military of the country to push aside the local authorities and exercise jurisdiction over the population of an area in which the emergency is applied.  This power is given to the military forces when the local authorities become unable to maintain the laws and public safety of the particular area. After the enforcement of martial law, all the ordinary laws and fundamental rights become invalid. It is the military commander who comes into the unlimited authority to enforce and make new laws for that area. 

Rules of martial law

There are the following rules related to martial law that is:

  • The president or the governor of the state can proclaim martial law. 
  • There should be a situation of emergency.
  • Army will take over all the powers to run the particular area. 
  • Local authorities will not have any control over that particular area during the application of this law. 
  • Military commander will be the head to take any decisions for the benefit of the people of that particular area.
  • It will restrict the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Suspension of rights

The proclamation of martial law will suspend fundamental rights like, right to speech, right to movement etc. also, the possibilities are that the military tribunal will deal with all the civil and criminal cases during that time. So, if any person breaks the law during that time, he will be punished according to the military laws. 

FAQ related to the Martial Law

What is martial law?

It is a power given to the military to exercise jurisdiction over the population of an area in which the situation is not so good. There can be any threat of war or emergency. In the law, the local laws become invalid and the military is free to make and run any law for the safety of the people.

Who declared martial law?

The president of the nation declares martial law for a particular part of the country. He grants all the necessary rights to the commander of the military to apply new rules for the safety of the people. 

What is the purpose of martial law?

Martial law is used to secure the population of a particular area. It protects the people from the situation of war and any other kind of emergency situation. 


The application of martial law is done in very rare and extreme conditions. It is a good way to control society during the time of war or any time of disaster. After the proclamation, the few or all the wings of the government of that particular area is handed over to the military.   

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