Indian Polity | The President of India | Important for All Competitive Exams

The President of India

THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA

 

ARTICLE 52: There shall be a President of India.

  • He is the first citizen of India.

 

ARTICLE 53: This mentions about the executive powers of the Union.

  • All the executive powers of the President are exercised either directly or indirectly (through the officers subordinate to him).

 

ARTICLE 54: The President is elected by an electoral college.

  • The President is elected by the elected members of

 

  • Lok sabha
  • Rajya Sabha
  • State Assemblies
  • State Assemblies of Delhi and Pondicherry. (Since 1992 through 70th amendment).

 

ARTICLE 55:  This Article mentions about the manner of the election of the President.

  • The President is elected indirectly.
  • The election shall be by a secret ballot.
  • The election shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

(Please pay keen attention that the nominated members and all the members of Legislative Councils (In case of Bicameral Legislatures) are not permitted to vote in the election of the President of India).

 

ARTICLE 56:  This article mentions about the term of the President.

  • The term of office is 5 years from the date on which the President enters upon his office.
  • The President can resign to his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Vice President of India.

 

ARTICLE 57: This article mentions bout the reelection of the President.

  • A person is eligible for reelection to the office of the President any number of terms.

 

ARTICLE 58: This article mentions about the qualifications for election as President.

Qualification of a person to contest for the President:

 

  •      Citizen of India
  •      Should have completed 35 years of age
  •      Should not hold any office of profit
  •      Should be qualified for election as a member       of the Lok Sabha.

 

Article 71: The disputes related to the election of the President of India are challenged only in Supreme Court, and the decision of the Supreme Court is final.

NOTE: On August 21, 2012 P A Sangma the defeated NDA (National Democratic Alliance) candidate moved the Supreme Court Challenging the election of Pranab Mukherjee as President contending that he was holding offices of profit and hence not eligible to contest for the post. The contention was that Pranab Mukharjee was holding the office of profit like the leader of Loksabha and the Chairman of Indian Statistical Institute. The argument is that the lok sabha website was showing Pranab Mukharjee as the leader of Lok Sabha even after submitting nomination papers and continued up to July 30, 2012.

Note: Article 71 also includes the disputes related to the election to the office of the Vice-President also.

Security Deposit: 15000/- (Fifteen thousand Rupees). Security deposit will not be refunded if the candidate fails to get the 1/6th of the votes polled.

Nomination: A candidate for election to the office of the President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders.

 

ARTICLE 59: Conditions of the office of the President.

  • The President shall not be a member of any house of Union or the state legislature.
  • He shall not hold any office of Profit.
  • The President shall be entitled to the free use of his official residence and such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by the Parliament by law.
  • Free travel
  • Secretarial staff
  • Free Telephone, water, electricity, rent free furnished accommodation

Note: The official residence of the President is called “Rashtrapati Bhavan“.

  • Free residence, Medicare, pension  to the President’s spouse if the President dies in office or after retirement.

 

ARTICLE 60: This talks about the Oath or affirmation by the President of India.

OATH of Office: Is administered by the Chief justice of India and in his absence, the senior most judge of Supreme Court.

Note: Acting President should also take similar type of oath.

  • The President takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law.
  • Salary and other \allowances are determined by the Parliament from time to time.
  • The salary and other allowances of the President cannot be diminished during the term of office.

Salary: 5,00,000/- (Five Lakh ) per month.

Pension: 9,00,000/- (Nine Lakhs) per annum.

  • The President submits the resignation to the Vice President.

Note: The Vice President submits the resignation to the President.

 

ARTICLE 61: The procedure for impeachment of the President.

Impeachment: The President can be removed from the office by a process of impeachment on the grounds of “Violation of the Constitution”.

  • Charges can be initiated by any house of the Parliament.
  • All the members of Loksabha and Rajya Sabha (Elected and nominated) take part in the impeachment process of the President.
  • Assembly members are not permitted to take part in the impeachment process of the President of India.
  • The charges should be signed by 1/4th of the members of the house.
  • 14 days notice is given to the President.
  • After it is passed by the 2/3rd majority of the total membership of the house it is sent to the other house.
  • If the other house also passes the same with 2/3rd majority of the total then the President stands impeached.

Note: No Indian President has been impeached so far.

 

ARTICLE 62: VACANCY:

The Vacancy occurs

  • On the expiry of tenure of 5 years
  • Resignation
  • Impeachment
  • Death
  • Otherwise. (If the election of the President is declared void by the Supreme Court).
  • In case of vacancy in the office of the President the Vice President acts as the President. In case of vacancy in the office of the Vice President the Chief Justice of India acts as the President.
  • In case of vacancy the election should be held within a period of six months.
  • The newly elected President remains in office for a full term of five years.

 

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT:

EXECUTIVE POWERS:

  • All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken on the name of the President of India.
  • The President appoints the Prime Minister. (Article 75 (1)).
  • All other ministers are also appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. (Article 75 (1)).
  • The President allocated the business among the ministers.
  • The President appoints Attorney-General of India.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.
  • The Chairman and Members of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The Chairman and Members of Joint Public Service Commission (JPSC).
  • The Chairman and Members of Finance Commission.
  • The Governors of states
  • Appoints administrators to Union Territories.
  • Appoints Commissions to investigate into conditions of SCs, STs and Other Backward classes.
  • Appoints the inter-state council to promote centre-state cooperation.

 

LEGISLATIVE POWERS: ARTICLE 85)

  • President is a part of Parliament

The President-

  • Summon the Parliament
  • Prorogue the Parliament.
  • Dissolves Loksabha.

Note: (Rajya Sabha is a permanent house it cannot be dissolved).

  • Summon the Joint session of the Parliament (Article 108).

Note: The Speaker presides over the Joint session of the Parliament.

So far Joint Session was conducted for 4 times.

  • Dowry Prohibition Bill 1960: As the Lok Sabha did not agree to the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha , a joint session was held on May 6, 1961.

 

  • Banking Service Commission (Repeal) bill 1977: The Rajya Sabha rejected the bill after it is passed in the Lok Sabha. A joint Sitting was held on May 16, 1978.

 

  • Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2002: The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but, rejected by the Upper House. A joint sitting was held on March 26, 2002.

 

ARTICLE 86: Address the Parliament at the commencement of the 1st session every year (after January 1st, generally this is the budget session, Please follow carefully) and also at the commencement of the 1st session after general election (lok Sabha Election)

  • Nominates 12 members to Rajya sabha from the persons with special knowledge or practicle experience in Science, Arts, Literature and Social Service.
  • Nominates 2 members to Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian community. (If in the opinion of the President that the Community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha)
  • Decides the question of disqualification of the members of the parliament in consultation with the Election Commission.
  • Budget is introduced in Lok Sabha with the prior permission of the President.
  • A bill which is meant for the creation of a new state or altering the boundaries of the existing states introduced in the parliament with the Prior permission.
  • A bill becomes an Act after the assent of the president.
  • President has the right to return the bill for reconsideration. Second time he must sign the bill. (Applicable for ordinary bills only)
  • President cannot return Money bills and constitution amendment bills).
  • Promulgates ordinances when the Parliament is not in the session. (Article 123).  The ordinance must be passed by the Parliament within 6 weeks from its reassembly.
  • The President lays the reports of CAG, UPSC, Finance Commission etc before the Parliament.

 

FINANCIAL POWERS:

  • Money bills are introduced in Lok sabha with the prior permission of the President. (Note: All money bills are first introduced in Lok sabha).
  • Annual Financial Statement (Budget) is laid before the Lok Sabha with the prior permission of the President.
  • President can make advances out of the Contingency Fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
  • The President constitutes the Finance Commission (Article 280) every 5 years.

 

JUDICIAL POWERS:

  • Appoints the Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts.
  • Seeks advice from the Supreme Court (Article 143).  The advice rendered by the Supreme Court is not binding on the President.

 

DIPLOMATIC POWERS:

  • International treaties are concluded by the President. (Subject to the approval of the Parliament).
  • Represents India in international forums.
  • Sends and receives diplomats like ambassadors, high Commissioners and so on.

 

MILITARY POWERS:

  • President is the Supreme commander of the armed forces.
  • In this capacity appoints the Army Chief, the Navy Admiral and the Air Marshall.
  • President can declare war and peace. (Subject to the approval of Parliament).

 

EMERGENCY POWERS:

The Constitution of India granted 3 types of emergency powers to the President of India.

  • National Emergency (Article 352)
  • State Emergency or President’s Rule (Article 356)
  • Financial Emergency (Article 360)

(The Emergency powers are discussed in detail in Emergency Provision Chapter. Uploaded later).

 

VETO POWERS: This is the authority of the President to withhold assent to the bills passed by the Parliament.  (A bill is introduced in Parliament, after it is passed by both the houses with the assent of the President bill becomes an act).

Note: This is with reference to ordinary bills only and not Money bills and constitutional amendment bills.

CLASSIFICATION OF VETO POWERS:

  • Absolute veto
  • Suspensive veto
  • Pocket veto

Absolute Veto: The power of the President to withhold the assent to a bill passed by the Parliament.

Suspensive Veto: The President returns the bill for the reconsideration of the Parliament. If the bill is again passed by the Parliament with or without amendments, it is obligatory for the President to give assent to the bill.

Pocket veto: The President neither rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period of time.

  • The President can also exercise pocket veto with respect to the state legislations.
  • When a bill is passed by the state legislature and sent to the Governor for his consent. Under Article 200 of the constitution the Governor
  • May give assent to the bill, or
  • Withhold the assent to the bill, or
  • May return the bill for the reconsideration by the state legislature, or
  • May reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.

 

Ordinance making power:

  • Article 123 of the Indian Constitution empowers the President to promulgate (Proclaim, announce) ordinances.
  • This is the most important legislative power of the President.
  • Ordinance can be proclaimed by the President only during recess (when the Parliament is not in session).
  • Ordinance can also be issued when only one house is in session.
  • The decision of the President to issue an ordinance can be questioned in a court on the ground that the President prorogued one house or both the houses of the Parliament deliberately with a view to issue an ordinance on a controversial subject.
  • Ordinance issued by the President must be laid before both the houses of Parliament when it reassembles.
  • From the date of reassembly the ordinance is valid for a period of six weeks.
  • The President can withdraw an ordinance at any time.
  • Ordinance cannot be issued to amend the constitution.

 

PARDONING POWERS: (Article 72):

  • The Constitution provided the President with five types of pardoning powers.

PARDON: This removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.

COMMUTATION: This is the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form.

  • Death……> Rigorous imprisonment….> Simple imprisonment…>Penalty
Atbir Singh, lodged in Tihar Jail, New Delhi, is the first death-row convict whose sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment by the President Pranab Mukharjee on November 15, 2012. Atbir was convicted and sentenced to death by a sessions court in 2004 for murder of his step mother and step brother in 1996 over a property dispute. The HC confirmed the sentence in 2006 and the SC dismissed his appeal against the sentence in 2010. The Ministry of Home Affairs recommended as the crime had a socio-economic basis.

 

REMISSION: Reducing the period of sentence without changing its character.

  • Rigorous imprisonment (5 years) …………..> Rigorous imprisonment (2 years)

RESPITE: Awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded because of some special facts.

  • Ex: Pregnant woman, disabled persons etc

REPRIEVE: This is the stay of execution of a sentence for a temporary period.
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