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THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

Introduction | THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

  • Indian President is the head of the state and he is also called the first citizen of India.
  • He is a part of Union Executive, provisions of which are dealt with Article 52-78 including articles related to President (Article 52-62.)
  • Under these articles, information on how a President is elected, his powers and functions and also his impeachment process is given.

Qualifications For Election As President

  • No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he –
    • Is a citizen of India;
    • Has completed the age of thirty-five years, and
    • Is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People.
  • A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.
  • Explanation: For the purposes of this article, a person shall not be deemed to hold any office of profit by reason only that he is the President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any State or is a Minister either for the Union or for any State.

Election of the President | THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

The President is elected not directly by the people but by members of electoral college consisting of:

  • The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament;
  • The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states; and
  • The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

Who does not take part in the President’s elections?

The following group of people are not involved in electing the President of India:

  • Nominated Members of Lok Sabha (2) and Rajya Sabha (12)
  • Nominated Members of State Legislative Assemblies
  • Members of Legislative Councils (Both elected and nominated) in bicameral legislatures
  • Nominated Members of union territories of Delhi and Puducherry

Term of President’s office | THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

  • Once President is elected, he holds office for five years. He sits in the office even after the completion of five years given no new election have taken place or no new President has been elected till then. He can also be re-elected and there is no cap on his re-election.

Eligibility For Re-Election

  • A person who holds, or who has held, office as President shall, subject to the other provisions of this Constitution be eligible for re-election to that office.

Procedure For Impeachment Of The President

  • When a President is to be impeached for violation of the Constitution, the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament.
  • No such charge shall be preferred unless –
    • The proposal to prefer such charge is contained in a resolution which has been moved after at least fourteen days’ notice in writing signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of members of the House has been given of their intention to move the resolution, and
    • Such resolution has been passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House.
  • When a charge has been so preferred by either House of Parliament, the other House shall investigate the charge or cause the charge to be investigated and the President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation.
  • If as a result of the investigation a resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House by which the charge was investigated or caused to be investigated, declaring that the charge preferred against the President has been sustained, such resolution shall have the effect of removing the President from his office as from the date on which the resolution is so passed.

Conditions Of The President’s Office

There are a few conditions for the candidate running for the President’s elections:

  • He cannot be a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If he has been a member of either of the house, he should vacate the seat on his first day as President in the office
  • He should not hold any office of profit
  • For his residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan is provided to him without the payment of rent
  • Parliament decides his emoluments, allowances and privileges
  • Parliament cannot diminish his emoluments and allowances during his term of office
  • He is given immunity from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts
  • Arrest or imprisonment of President cannot take place. Only civil proceedings can be initiated for his personal acts that too after giving two months’ of prior notice.

Powers of The President | THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

Powers of Indian President can be broadly classified under 8 headings. They are :

Legislative Powers

  • He summons or prorogues Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha
  • He summons a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in case of deadlock
  • He addresses the Indian Parliament at the commencement of the first session after every general election
  • He appoints speaker, deputy speaker of Lok Sabha and chairman/deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha when the seats fall vacant.
  • He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha
  • He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community
  • He consults Election Commission of India on questions of disqualifications of MPs.
  • He recommends/ permits the introduction of certain types of bills.
  • He promulgates ordinances
  • He lays the following reports before the Parliament:
    • Comptroller and Auditor General
    • Union Public Service Commission
    • Finance Commission, etc.

Executive or Appointment powers

  • For every executive action that the Indian government takes, is to be taken in his name
  • He may/may not make rules to simplify the transaction of business of the central government
  • He appoints the attorney general of India and determines his remuneration
  • He appoints the following people:
    • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)
    • Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
    • Chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission
    • State Governors
    • Finance Commission of India chairman and members
  • He seeks administrative information from Union government
  • He requires PM 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
  • He appoints National Commissions of:
    • Scheduled Castes
    • Scheduled Tribes
    • Other Backward Classes
  • He appoints inter-state council
  • He appoints administrators of union territories
  • He can declare any area as scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas

Judicial powers

  • Appointment of Chief Justice and Supreme Court/High Court Judges are on him
  • He takes advises from Supreme Court however, those advise are not binding on him
  • He has pardoning power: Under article 72, he has been conferred with power to grant pardon against punishment for an offence against union law, punishment by a martial court or death sentence.

Financial powers

  • He causes Union Budget to be laid before the Parliament
  • To introduce the money bill, his prior recommendation is a must
  • He constitutes the Finance Commission every five year
  • To make a demand for grants, his recommendation is a prerequisite                       (THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY)
  • Contingency Fund of India is under his control

Diplomatic powers 

  • International Treaties and agreements that are approved by the Parliament are negotiated and concluded in his name
  • He is the representative of India in international forums and affairs

Military powers

He is the commander of defence forces of India. He appoints:

  • Chief of the Army
  • Chief of the Navy, and
  • Chief of the Air Force

Pardoning Powers

  • Pardon with the grant of pardon convicts both conviction and sentence completely absolved
  • Commutation  with this nature of the punishment of the convict can be changed
  • Remission reduces the term of the imprisonment
  • Respite  awards lesser punishment than original punishment by looking at the special condition of a convict
  • Reprieve stays the execution of the awarded sentence for a temporary period

Emergency powers

He deals with three types of emergencies given in the Indian Constitution:

  • National Emergency (Article 352)
  • President’s Rule (Article 356 & 365); and
  • Financial Emergency (Article 360)

Veto Power of the President | THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT | POLITY

  • When a bill is introduced in the Parliament, Parliament can pass the bill and before the bill becomes an act, it has to be presented to the Indian President for his approval.
  • It is on President of India to either reject the bill, return the bill or withhold his assent to the bill.
  • The choice of the President over the bill is called his veto power.
  • Veto Power of the President of India is guided by Article 111 of the Indian Constitution.

 

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