Chapter 20: PRESIDENT
He is the head of the state and
executive. The union executive consists of president, vice
minister, council of ministers and attorney general. He is
the first citizen of
Election of president:
consisting of only elected members of both houses of the
elected members of legislative assembly [not any member of
council] and elected
members of legislative assemblies of UT's.
Members of dissolved legislative
assemblies don’t participate in the Electoral College.
Presidential election is by
proportional representation. All disputes of Electoral
College are settled by Supreme
President election is declared invalid then
the decisions made by
him till that time remain valid.
Eligibility criteria for Presidential
Person to be eligible for president’s
position he needs to have the following qualification:
- A citizen of India
- Qualified for election to be member of Lok Sabha
- should be at least 35 yrs of age
- Should not hold any office of profit under
a public authority in any union, state and local body in
Conditions for president’s
He should not be an MP / MLA in
any house of centre or states and UT's. He must not hold
an office of profit in
President is immune from criminal
proceedings from official or personal acts.
Civil proceeding with regards to
personal acts can be launched after two months.
Legal liability on account of
official actions is null.
However his official conduct can be
court, tribunal or body authorized by either house of
proceeding for impeachment are being conducted.
Term of office
Term of office is 5 years.
Re-election is allowed any number of times.
He can resign in writing to vice
president. His term can be extended till re-elections are
over and new
candidate takes over.
President can be impeached if any house
resolution by majority of two third of the total
membership of the
house. Similarly in the other house too, such a bill when
passed leads to
impeachment of the president. Impeachment can be done on
grounds of violation
of the constitution.
Nominated MP's too can
participate in the impeachment proceedings.
If the office of the president
falls vacant due to death, illness, removal or otherwise
then vice president
acts as president. If vice president is also unable then Chief
Justice of India
or in his absence senior most judge of SC can act as
Hidayatullah was the only one to get such a chance.
Powers and functions:
All executive actions of state
are taken in his name. Powers of the president have to be
exercised with the
advice of the PM + council of ministers [42nd
amendment]; the 44th
amendment gave the president power to advice the PM +
council to reconsider the
advice but if the same advice is made again he has to
make rules specifying which orders and instruments
made and executed in his name shall be authenticated.
He can makes rules for
more convenient transaction of business of union
government and allocation of
said business among ministers.
He appoints PM and council of ministers and
attorney general, they occupy office during his pleasure.
He appoints CEC and EC’s,
CAG, Chairman and members of UPSC + finance commission +
governors of state +
interstate councils + administrators of UT's.
He can declare scheduled areas
and tribal areas and has powers of administration of these
areas. He can
appoint members of SC + ST+ Womens+ OBC+ Minorities
commission + Officer of
He appoints administrators to
UT’s called chief commissioner, lieutenant governor or
Legislative powers of president
Dissolving Lok Sabha. Summoning
and proroguing house of parliament.
Summon joint sitting of both
houses to resolve deadlocks.
He can send messages to the House
of parliament regarding bills or otherwise.
He can nominate 12 members to Rajya
Sabha from fields of art, science, literature and social
He can nominate two members of Anglo
Indian community to Lok Sabha if he feels community isn’t
He decides questions of
disqualification of MP's after advice of EC which is
Money bills and bill leading to
alteration of boundaries of state or UT's needs his
approval before they can be
introduced in the house.
He lays the reports of UPSC, EC, and
CAG before the house of parliament.
Ordinance making powers:
He can promulgate ordinances when
parliament [both houses or any one house] isn’t in session
however such ordinances have to be laid before parliament
within 6 weeks of its reassembly.
Thus they are temporary laws. The president should be
satisfied of the need to take immediate action.
President’s satisfaction is subject to judicial
Ordinance can be made only on
Union list matters and Fundamental rights can’t be
abridged by them.Constitutional amendments can’t be made
Ordinances can be made by
him only on advice of PM + council of ministers. It can
give retrospective effect or repeal a law or tax law or
other ordinance too.
He can legislate by making
regulations for Puducherry but only when its legislature
isn’t in session or dissolved.
Misuse of Ordinance making powers: Enemy Property Ordinance, 2017
Ordinance making powers are a legacy from the Indian Council Act, 1861 which gave the executive power to circumvent the legislature in making a law. However the decision to pass the Enemy property ordinance for the fifth time after failing to get the law passed through parliament is a abuse of the powers. The ordinance was passed specifically to nullify a decision of the Supreme court. A special article was inserted to allow the current custodian of the enemy property to dispose it by sale notwithstanding any judgment on it. This allows the government from having to hand over property to original owners.
Article 123 of the constitution clearly specifies that ordinance making powers are an emergency resort but the executive has turned it into a parallel law making source. The ordinance also redefines "enemy subject" and includes in its purview "even legal heirs of the enemy subject". Thus even Indian born heirs of the original owners are kept away from their ancestral property. The Ordinance thus is in complete contravention of Right to Property of these people. This must be examined for legal validity by courts.
A bill can become an act only if
it has received president’s assent. When a bill is given
to the president he can:
- Give his assent [compulsory for
- Take no action on bill of legislature /
Pocket veto. [only for ordinary bills / money bills]
- Withhold his assent / Absolute veto
[only for ordinary bills / money bills]
- Return the bill for reconsideration /
Suspensive veto. However if the bill is again passed by
parliament then he has to give his assent to it. [ only
for ordinary bills ]
Qualified veto i.e. legislature
can override presidential decision to return bill by a
higher majority than
what passed the bill isn’t available in Indian system
Above powers are also applicable to
bills reserved for his assent by the governor; However for
such State bills he can
return them for reconsideration any number of times.
Money bills can be introduced in
house only after his assent.
He constitutes a finance commission after
He causes to be laid the annual financial
No demand for grant can be made except on his
can make advances out of the contingency fund of India for
He appoints judges of SC and
He can grant pardon [remove
sentence and conviction], remit [reduce sentence but not
its character], reprieve
[stay on execution for a temporary period], commute
[substitute sentence with a
lighter form] or respite [award lesser sentence due to
special factors of convict]
sentence of a convict sentenced under union law, court
martial or sentenced to
death under any law.
He can seek advice from the SC on
any question of law or fact; such advice is not binding on
He negotiates international
treaties and agreements of India. However they are subject
to the approval of
He is the supreme commander of
defence forces. He appoints chiefs of army, navy and air
force. He declares war
or concludes peace subject to parliament’s approval.
can decide appointment of PM when no party has clear
A caretaker government cant take a policy decision and
president can decide what is policy decision.
the council of ministers when it loses majority in Lok
the Lok Sabha if the council of ministers has lost the
support in the house.
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