Powers of President of India

Powers of President of India
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About President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India

President is one of the Union executives of India, the others being the Vice-President, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, and Attorney General of India. The President is the head of the Indian State, and he/she is the first citizen of India who acts as the symbol of unity, integrity, and solidarity of the nation.

Election of the President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India

The president is elected not directly by the people but by members of the electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament. The elected members of the states’ legislative assemblies and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the union territories of Delhi and Pondicherry. Thus the nominated members of both houses of Parliament the nominated members of the state legislative assembly the member of the state legislative councils and the nominated members of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the election of the president.

When an assembly is dissolved, the members are qualified to vote in the presidential election even if elections to the dissolved assembly are not held before the presidential election.

The constitution provides that there shall be uniformity in the scale of Representation of different states as well as parity between the states as a whole and the Union and the election of the president. To achieve this, the number of votes which each elected member of the Legislative Assembly of each state and the parliament is entitled to cast at such election shall be determined in the following manner:

  1. Every elected member of the Legislative Assembly of a state shall have as many votes as there are multiples of 1000 in the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the state by the total number of elected members of the assembly.
  2. Every elected member of either House of Parliament shall have such number of votes as may be obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to members of the legislative assemblies of the States by the total number of elected members of both houses of parliament.

The president’s election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of The Single Transferable Vote and the voting is by secret ballot. Each member of the electoral college is given only one ballot paper. While casting his vote, the voter must indicate his preferences by marking 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. against the names of candidates. This means that the voter can indicate as many preferences as there are candidates in the fray.

All doubts and disputes in connection with the election of the President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.

The president is only a nominal executive and the real powers are vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister it would have been Anomalous to have the president elected and not given him any real power so the president is only a symbolic head the makers of the Constitution did not prefer this as the Parliament, dominated by one political party, would have invariably chosen a candidate from that party and such a President could not represent the states of the Indian Union.

Qualifications for election as President:

Topic: Powers of President of India
  1. A person should be a citizen of India;
  2. He should have completed 35 years of age;
  3. He should be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha;
  4. He should not hold any office of profit under the union government or any State Government or any local authority or any other public authority.

Sitting president vice president governor of any state minister of the union minister of any state is not deemed to hold any office of profit, So they are qualified for election as president. The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of president must be subscribed by at least 50 elected as proposers and 50 electors as seconders.

Oath or affirmation by the President:

Topic: Powers of President of India

The oath is administered by the Chief Justice of India and in his absence the senior most judge of the supreme court. Before entering upon his office the president has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation. The president swears:

  1. To faithfully execute the office
  2. To preserve protect and Defend the constitution and the law
  3. To devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of India

Condition of the President’s office:

Topic: Powers of President of India
  1. He should not be a member of either House of Parliament the or house of the state legislature, otherwise deemed to vacate his seat
  2. He should not hold any other office of profit
  3. He is entitled without payment of rent to the use of Rashtrapati Bhavan
  4. He is entitled to such emoluments allowances and privileges as may be determined by parliament
  5. His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his term of office

The president is entitled to a number of privileges and immunities he enjoys personal immunity from legal liability for his official acts. He is immune from any criminal proceedings even in respect of his personal acts. He cannot be arrested or imprisoned. However, after giving two months prior notice civil proceedings can be instituted against him during his term of office in respect of his personal acts.

Term of President’s office:

Topic: Powers of President of India

The president holds office for a term of 5 years. However, he can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the vice president. He can also be removed from office before the completion of his term by the process of impeachment.

The president can hold office beyond his term of 5 years until his successor assumes charge. The president can be elected for any number of terms unlike the president of the USA.

Impeachment of President:

Topic: Powers of President of India

The impeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament. These charges should be signed by one-fourth members of house and a 14 days notice should be given to the president.

The resolution for impeachment should be passed by both houses of parliament by a majority of two-third of the total membership, then the president stands removed from his office from the date on which the bill is so passed. Thus, impeachment is a quasi-judicial process in the parliament.

  1. The nominated members of either House of Parliament can participate in the impeachment of the president though they do not participate in his election.
  2. The elected members of the legislative assemblies of states and union territories of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the impeachment of the president though they participate in his election.

Vacancy in the President's office:

Topic: Powers of President of India

Vacancy in the president’s office can occur:

  1. On the expiry of his tenure of 5 years
  2. By his resignation
  3. By his death
  4. On his removal by the process of impeachment
  5. If the election is declared void
  6. When the president becomes disqualified to hold office

When the vacancy is due to the expiration of the term of the sitting president, an election to fill the vacancy must be held before the expiration of the term. In case of any delay in conducting the election of the new President for any reason, the outgoing president continues to hold office beyond his term of 5 years until his successor assumes charge. The vice president does not get the opportunity to act as president or to discharge the function of the president. An election to fill the vacancy should be held within six months from the date of occurrence of such a vacancy.

When a vacancy occurs in the office due to resignation removal death then the vice president acts as the President until a new President is elected.

When the sitting president is unable to discharge his function due to absence, illness, or any other cause the vice president discharges his functions until the president resumes his charge.

If the office of vice president is vacant, the Chief Justice of India, or in his absence the senior most judge of the supreme court acts as the President or discharges the function of the president.

When any person i.e. vice president, chief justice of India, senior most judge of the Supreme Court is acting as the president or discharging the functions of the president, he enjoyed all Powers and immunities of the president and is entitled to such emoluments allowances and privileges as determined by the parliament.

Powers and functions of the President:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Powers of the President
Topic: Powers of President of India
Powers and Functions of President of India
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Executive Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Executive Power of President
  1. All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name
  2. He can make rules specifying the manner in which the orders and the other instruments made and executed in his name shall be authenticated
  3. He can make rules for more convenient transactions of business of the union government and for allocation of the said business among the ministers
  4. He appoints the Prime Minister and other Ministers they hold office during his pleasure
  5. He appoints the Attorney General of India and determines his remuneration. The Attorney General holds office during the pleasure of the president
  6. He appointed the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the chief election commissioner, and other Election Commissioners, the Chairman and member of the Union Public Service Commission, the governor of the states, the Chairman and members of the finance commission, and so on.
  7. He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation from the Prime Minister
  8. He can require the prime minister to submit for consideration of the council of ministers, any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister, but which has not been considered by the council.
  9. He can appoint a Commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs as STs and other backward classes
  10. He can appoint an inter-state Council to promote Center-state and interstate Cooperation
  11. He directly administers the union territories through administrators appointed him.
  12. He can declare any area as a scheduled area and has power with respect to the administration of the Scheduled area and tribal areas.

Legislative Powers of President of India :

Topic: Powers of President of India | Legislative Power of President
  1. He can summon or prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha. He can also summon a joint sitting of both houses of parliament which is presided over by the speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  2. He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year
  3. He can send messages to the houses of parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise.
  4. He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of the both speaker and the deputy speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Chairman and Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
  5. He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha among the persons having special knowledge or practical experience in Literature science art and social service
  6. He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian community
  7. He decides on questions as to the disqualification of members of the parliament in consultation with the election commission
  8. To introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament his prior recommendation or permission is needed, for example, a bill involving expenditure from the consolidated fund of India, or a bill for the alteration of boundaries of states or creation of a new state.
  9. When a bill is sent to the president after it has been passed by the Parliament he can give his assent to the bill withhold his assent or return the bill for reconsideration of the Parliament if it is not a money bill.
  10. However, when the bill is passed Again by the Parliament with or without amendment the president has to give his assent to the bill
  11. When a Bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the Governor for consideration of the president, the president can give his assent to the bill withhold his assent, or direct the Governor to return the bill if it is not a money bill, for reconsideration of the state legislature. It is not obligatory for the President to give his assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and send again to him for his consideration.
  12. He can promulgate ordinances when the parliament is not in session. The ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within 6 weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.
  13. He Lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, finance commission, and others, before the parliament.
  14. He can make regulations for the peace progress and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. In the case of Puducherry also, the president can legislate by making regulations but only when the Assembly is suspended or dissolved.

Financial Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India
  1. Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior recommendation.
  2. The president laid the annual financial statement or the union budget before the parliament.
  3. Prevalent recommendation is required for demand for a grant.
  4. To meet any unforeseen expenditure the president can make advances out of the contingency fund of India.
  5. He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the center and States.

Judicial Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Judicial Powers of the President
  1. He appoints the Chief Justice of India and the judges of the supreme court and high courts.
  2. He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact. However, the advice tendered by the supreme court is not binding on the president.
  3. He can grant pardon reprieve respite and remission of punishment or suspend remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offense.
  4. In all cases where the punishment for the sentence is by a court-martial.
  5. In all cases where the punishment of sentence is for an offense against Union law.
  6. In all cases of death sentence.

Diplomatic Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India
  1. The international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the president.
  2. These treaties and agreements are subject to the approval of the Parliament.
  3. The president represents India in international forums and affairs and sends and receives diplomats like Ambassadors high Commissioner and so on.

Military Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India
  1. President is the supreme commander of the defense forces of India.
  2. He appoints the chief of the Army and navy and air force.
  3. He can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament.

Emergency Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Emergency Power of the President | Emergency Power of President of India

The constitution conferred extraordinary powers on the president:

  1. National Emergency under article 352
  2. President’s rule under articles 356 and 365
  3. Financial emergency under Article 360

Veto Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Veto Power of President of India

The president has veto power over the bills passed by the parliament, that is he can withhold his assent to the bills. Under article 111 of the Constitution of India when such a bill is passed by the Parliament then it can become an act, only if it receives the assent of the president. When such a bill is presented to the president for his assent he has three alternatives:

  1. He may give his assent to the bill
  2. He made withhold his assent to the bill
  3. He may return the bill for reconsideration if it is not a money bill, however, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the president, he must give his assent to the bill

The object of conferring this veto power on the president is two-fold:

  1. To prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation by the parliament
  2. To prevent the legislation which may be unconstitutional

There are four kinds of Veto powers out of which, the President of India is vested with three Veto powers that are absolute veto, suspensive veto, and pocket Veto, hence there is no qualified Veto in the case of the Indian President.

Absolute Veto:
Topic: Powers of President of India

It is withholding of assent to the Bill passed by the Legislature. The bill then ends and does not become an act. This Veto is exercised in two cases:

  1. With respect to the private members’ bills introduced by any Member of Parliament who is not a Minister.
  2. With respect to the government bills when the cabinet resigns after the passage of the bill but before the assent by the president and the new cabinet advises the president not to give his assent to such bills.
Suspensive Veto:
Topic: Powers of President of India

The president exercises this Veto when he returns a bill for reconsideration by the Parliament however if the bill is passed Again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the president it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the bill this means that the presidential Veto is overridden by re-passage of the bill by the same ordinary majority.

The president does not possess this Veto in the case of money bills, with regard to money bill the president can either give his assent to a money bill or withhold his assent to a money bill but cannot return it for the reconsideration of the Parliament.

Pocket veto:
Topic: Powers of President of India

The president neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period. Pocket Veto means, taking no action on the Bill passed by the Legislature. The Constitution does not prescribe any time limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent. The president has no veto power in respect of a Constitutional Amendment bill.

Qualified veto can be overridden by the legislature with the higher majority. Qualified Veto cannot be exercised by the president of India.

Presidential Veto over state legislation:
Topic: Powers of President of India

The president has Veto powers with respect to state legislation also. A Bill passed by the state legislature can become an act only if it receives the assent of the Governor or the president in case the bill is reserved for the consideration of the president.

When a Bill passed by the state legislature is presented to the Governor for his assent then he has four alternatives under article 200 constitution:

  1. He may give his assent to the bill
  2. He may withhold his assent to the bill
  3. He may return the bill if it is not a money bill for reconsideration of the state legislature
  4. He may reserve the bill for the consideration of the president

When a bill is reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the president then the president has three alternatives under article 201 of the constitution:

  1. He may give his assent to the bill
  2. He may withhold his assent to the bill
  3. He may direct the Governor to return the bill if it is not a money bill for reconsideration of the state legislature. If the bill is passed Again by the state legislature with or without amendment and presented again to the president for his assent than the president is not bound to give the assent to the bill, this means that the state legislature cannot override the veto power of the president.

The constitution has not prescribed any time limit within which the president has to take decision with regard to bill reserved by the Governor for his consideration. Hence the president can exercise pocket Veto in respect of state legislation also.

Ordinance-making Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Ordinance Making Power of President

The president is empowered under article 123 of the constitution to promulgate ordinances during the Recess of parliament. This power is the most important legislative power of the president to deal with unforeseen or urgent matters but this power is subject to the following four limitations:

  1. He can promulgate an ordinance only when both houses of Parliament are not in session or either of the two houses of parliament is not in session an ordinance can also be issued when only one house is in session. An ordinance made when both houses are in session is void. Thus, the ordinance-making power is not a parallel power of legislation given to the president.
  2. The president can make an ordinance only when he is satisfied that the circumstances exist that render it necessary for him to take immediate action. The 38th Constitution Amendment Act of 1975 made president’st satisfaction final and conclusive and beyond Judicial review. But this provision was deleted by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978 thus the president satisfaction is justiciable on the ground of malafide. The ordinance making power is so expensive with the law making powers of the Parliament. This has two implications:
    1. An ordinance can be issued only on those subjects on which the Parliament can make laws
    2. An ordinance is subject to the same constitutional limitation as an act of parliament
    3. Hence an ordinance cannot abridge or take away any of the fundamental rights
  3. Every Ordinance issued by the president during the Recess of the Parliament must be laid before both houses of Parliament when it reassembles. If the ordinance is approved by both houses it becomes an act otherwise it ceased to operate on the expiry of six weeks from the reassembly of the Parliament. The ordinance may also cease to operate if both houses of Parliament pass a resolution disapproving it.

The president can withdraw an ordinance at any time. However, the power of Ordinance making is not a discretionary power and he can promulgate or withdraw an ordinance only on the advice of The council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

An ordinance like any other legislation can be retrospective, it may modify or repeal any act of Parliament or any other ordinance, it can alter or amend a tax law also. However, it cannot be issued to amend the constitution. It should be noted that the exceptional power of law-making through ordinance cannot be used as a substitute for the legislative power of the state legislature.

Pardoning Powers of President of India:

Topic: Powers of President of India | Pardoning Power of President

The president under article 72 of the Constitution is empowered to grant pardons to persons who have been tried and convicted of any offence in cases where the Punishment or sentence is:

  1. for an offence against a Union law
  2. By a court martial
  3. A death sentence

The pardoning power is independent of the judiciary it is an executive power but the president does not sit as a court of appeal while exercising this power. The objective of conferring this power on the president is two-fold:

  1. To keep the door open for correcting any judicial error in operation of law
  2. To afford relief from a sentence which the president regard as unduly Harsh

The pardoning power of the president includes:

  1. Pardon: It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the Convict from all sentences punishments and disqualifications
  2. Commutation: It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form, for example a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment which in turn may be commuted to a simple imprisonment
  3. Remission: It implies reducing the period of sentence without changing its character, for example an imprisonment of two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment of one year
  4. Respite: It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact such as physical disability of a Convict
  5. Reprieve: It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence especially that of death sentence for a temporary period. The purpose is to enable the Convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the president

The governor of a state also possesses the pardoning power under article 161 of the Constitution of India, but the pardoning power of the Governor differs from that of the president in the following two respects:

  1. The Governor cannot pardon sentences inflicted by court martial
  2. The Governor cannot pardon death sentence

The supreme court laid down the following principles examining the pardoning power of the president:

  1. The petitioner for Mercy has no right to an oral hearing by the president.
  2. The president can examine the evidence of afresh and take a view different from the view taken by the court.
  3. The power is to be exercised by the president on the advice of the Union Cabinet.
  4. The president is not bound to give reasons for his order.
  5. The president can ask for relief not only from a sentence that he regarded as unduly hard but also from an evident mistake.
  6. There is no need for the supreme court to lay down specific guidelines for the exercise of power by the president.
  7. The exercise of power by the president is not subject to Judicial review except where the presidential decision is arbitrary irrational mala fide or discriminatory.
  8. Stay cannot be obtained by filing another petition where the earlier petition for Mercy has been rejected by the president.

Constitutional position of the President:

constitutional Position of President of India
Powers of President of India | Powers of the President
Topic: Powers of President of India

The president represents the nation but does not rule the nation. He is the symbol of the nation, his place in administration is that of a ceremonial device or a seal by which the Nation’s decisions are made known.

He is generally bound by the advice of his ministers. He can do nothing contrary to their advice nor can he do anything without their advice.

The president can not dismiss any secretary so long as his ministers command a majority in Parliament.

Though, the president has no constitutional discretion he has some situational discretion. The president can act at his discretion under the following situation:

  1. Appointment of prime minister when no party has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha or when the prime minister in office dies suddenly and there is no obvious successor.
  2. Dismissal of The council of minister when it cannot Prove the confidence of the Lok Sabha.
  3. Dissolution of Lok Sabha if the council of minister has lost its majority.

Official YouTube Channel of President of India:

Topics: Powers of President of India, Powers of the President, Pardoning Power of President, Powers and Functions of President of India, Veto Power of President, Emergency Power of the President, Executive Power of President, Ordinance Making power of President, Emergency Power of President of India, Legislative Power of President, Veto Power of President of India, Judicial Powers of the President, Powers and Functions of President, What are the Powers of President of India, What are the Powers of the President, Executive Powers of President of India, Legislative Power of President of India, Legislative powers of President of India, Ordinance Power of President, Financial Powers of President

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