POLITY Ė PRESIDENT

Contents

PRESIDENT.. 2

Articles: 2

Article 52: 2

Article 53: 2

Article 54: 2

Article 55: 2

Article 56: 3

Qualifications for election as President: 3

Oath or affirmation by the President: 3

Conditions of Presidentís office: 3

Term of Presidentís Office: 3

Impeachment of President: 4

Powers and Functions of President. 4

Executive powers: 4

Legislative powers. 4

Financial Powers: 6

Judicial Powers: 6

Pardoning Power: 6

Power of President under Article 72: 6

Diplomatic Powers: 6

Military Powers: 7

Veto Powers of President. 7

Ordinance-making Power of the President: 7

Articles Related to President at a Glance. 8

 

 


UNION EXECUTIVES

Articles 52 to 78 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the Union executive. The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the council of ministers and the attorney general of India.

 

PRESIDENT

Articles:

Article 52: The President is the head of the Indian State. He is the first citizen of India and acts as the symbol of unity, integrity and solidarity of the nation.

Article 53: All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name.

Article 54: The President is elected not directly by the people but by members of Electoral College consisting of:

1.   The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament;

2.   The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states;

3.   The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Pondicherry.

 

Article 55: According to Article 55, the number of voteswhich each elected member of the legislative assembly of each state and the Parliament is entitled to cast at such election is determined in the following manner:

1. Value of the vote of an MLA =

(Total population of state/ total number of elected members in the state legislative assembly) * 1/100

2. Value of the vote of an MP = Total value of votes of all MLAs of all states / Total number of elected members of the Parliament

The Presidentís 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.

 

 

 

Article 56: According to Article 56, the tenure of the President is 5 years.

Qualifications for election as President:

A person to be eligible for election as President should fulfil the following qualifications:

         He should be a citizen of India.

         He should have completed 35 years of age.

         He should be qualified for election as a member of the LokSabha.

         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.


Oath or affirmation by the President:

The oath of office to the President is administered by the Chief Justice of India and, in his absence, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court available.

 

Conditions of Presidentís office:

The Constitution lays down the following conditions for the Presidentís office:

         He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature.

         He should not hold any other office of profit.

         He is entitled, without payment of rent, to the use of his official residence

         He is entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament.

         His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his term of office.

In 2008, the Parliament increased the salary of the President from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.50 lakh per month and the pension to 50% of his salary per month.

Term of Presidentís Office:

The President shall not Ė

(i)  President may resign by writing to Vice-President.

(ii) President may, for violation of the Constitution, be removed from office by impeachment [Art. 61].

Note: In case of vacancy caused by resignation, death or impeachment, a new President should be elected within six months.

In the above cases, the Vice-President acts as an acting President till the new President enters the office. During such period he receives the salary and the facilities of the Presidential post.

Impeachment of President:

The President can be removed from office by a process of impeachment for
Ďviolation of the Constitutioní. The impeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament. These charges should be signed by one-fourth members of the House (that framed the charges), and a 14 daysí notice should be given to the President.

 

Powers and Functions of President

Executive powers:

The executive powers and functions of the President are:

1.   All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name.

2.   According to Article 75 he appoints the Prime Minister of India and according to Article 77 with consent of the Prime Minister he appoints the other ministers. They hold office during his pleasure.

3.   He appoints the Attorney-General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the governors of states, the chairman and members of Finance Commission, and administrators of UTs and so on.

4.  He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union,††† and proposals for legislation from the prime minister.

5.  He can appoint a commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs, STs and other backward classes.

6.  He can appoint an inter-state council to promote Centre-state and inter-state cooperation.

 

Legislative powers

The President is an integral part of the Parliament of India, and enjoys the following legislative powers:

1.   He can summon or prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha. [Art. 85]

2.   He can also summon a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, which is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. [Art. 108]

3.   He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year. [Art. 87]

4.   He can send messages to the Houses of Parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise.

5.   He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can also appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman fall vacant.

6.   He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service. [Art. 80(1)]

7.   The President is empowered to nominate not more than two Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha, if that community is not adequately represented in that House. [Art. 331]

8.   His prior recommendation or permission is needed to introduce certain types of bill in the Parliament. 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, withhold his assent or return the bill for reconsideration of the parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament, with or without amendments, the President has to give his assent to the bill.

10.                When a bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the President, the President can give his assent, withhold it or direct the governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. It should be noted here that it is not obligatory for the President to give his assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again to him for his consideration.

11.                According to Article 123, he can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in session. An ordinance issued under Art. 123 must receive approval of Parliament (both the houses) within six weeks of reassembly of the parliament.

 

 

Financial Powers:

The financial powers and functions of the President are:

1.   Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior recommendation.

2.   He causes to be laid before the Parliament the Union Budget.

3.   No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.

4.   He can make advances out of the Contingency Fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.

5.   According to Article 280, he constitutes a Finance Commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the Centre and the states.

 

Judicial Powers:

The judicial powers and functions of the President are:

1.   He appoints the Chief Justice 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.

 

Pardoning Power: The President has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions or punishments or to suspend, remit or commute the sentences of any person in all cases. The President is the only authority to grant pardons in case of death sentence on the advice of council of ministers. [Art. 72]

 

Power of President under Article 72:

Pardon: Completely absolves the offender

Commutation: Substitution of one form of punishment to a lighter form
Remission: Reducing the period of sentence without changing its character.
Respite: Awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, e.g., pregnancy of a woman offender, physical disability of convict.
Reprieve: Stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period.

 

Diplomatic Powers: The international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President. He represents India in international forums and affairs and sends and receives diplomats like ambassadors, high commissioners, and so on.


Military Powers: He is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India. In that capacity, he appoints the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

Veto Powers of President

A bill passed by the Parliament 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 (under Article 111 of the Constitution):

1.   He may give his assent to the bill, or

2.   He may withhold his assent to the bill, or

3.   He may return the bill (if it is not a Money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament.


However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, the President must give his assent to the bill.

 

The veto power enjoyed by the executive in modern states can be classified into the following four types:

1.   Absolute veto: withholding of assent to the bill passed by the legislature.

2.   Qualified veto: This can be overridden by the legislature with a higher majority.

3.   Suspensive veto: This can be over ridden by the legislature with an ordinary majority.

4.   Pocket veto: that is, taking no action on the bill passed by the legislature.
Of the above four, the President of India is vested with threeóabsolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto. There is no qualified veto in the case of Indian President; it is possessed by the American President.

 

Ordinance-making Power of the President:

Article 123 of the Constitution empowers the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of force and effect as an act of Parliament, but are in the nature of temporary laws.
The ordinance-making power is the most important legislative power of the President. It has been vested in him to deal with unforeseen or urgent matters.

 

Four Limitations:

1.   He can promulgate an ordinance only when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session or when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.

2.   He can make an ordinance only when he is satisfied that the circumstances exist that render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

3.   His ordinance-making power is coextensive as regards all matters except duration, with the law-making powers of the Parliament. This has two implications:
(a) An ordinance can be issued only on those subjects on which the Parliament can make laws.

(b) An ordinance is subject to the same constitutional limitation as an act of Parliament. Hence, an ordinance cannot abridge or take away any of the fundamental rights.

4.   Every ordinance issued by the President during the recess of Parliament must be laid before both the Houses of Parliament when it reassembles. If the ordinance is approved by both the Houses, it becomes an act. If Parliament takes no action at all, the ordinance will not be into force after six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament

 

Articles Related to President at a Glance

 

Article No.

Subject-matter

52

The President of India

53

Executive power of the Union

54

Election of President

55

Manner of election of President

56

Term of office of President

57

Eligibility for re-election

58

Qualifications for election as President

59

Conditions of Presidentís office

60

Oath or affirmation by the President

61

Procedure for impeachment of the President

62

Time of holding election to fill vacancy in the office of President

65

Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions

71

Matters relating to the election of President

72

Power of President to grant pardons etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases

74

Council of ministers to aid and advise the President

75

Other provisions as to ministers like appointment, term, salaries, etc.

76

Attorney-General of India

77

Conduct of business of the Government of India

78

Duties of Prime Minister in respect to furnishing of information to the President, etc.

85

Sessions of Parliament, prorogation and dissolution

111

Assent to bills passed by the Parliament

112

Union Budget (annual financial statement)

123

Power of President to promulgate ordinances

143

Power of President to consult Supreme Court