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President Under Indian Constitution

The head of state of the Republic of India is the President of India. Being the country's first citizen, he represents the cohesion, integrity, and solidarity of the whole country. The president is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces, the first citizen of the nation, and the nominal head of state.

When India's Constitution went into effect on January 26, 1950, the country became a republic, and the position of President was established. The Legislative assemblies of each of India's states and territories, as well as the Parliament of India, which is itself composed of bodies directly elected by the people, form the electoral college that indirectly elects the president.
  • About President (Article 52-62):
    • The Parliamentary System of Governance has been adopted by India. In a parliamentary system, the president is the head of state by constitution. This is the rationale behind the inclusion of a President of India clause in Article 52.
    • The President is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces and the nation's first citizen.
    • Article 53 grants the President the authority to exercise the executive branch of the Union, which he may do directly or through officers reporting to him in line with the provisions of this constitution.
    • The 76th Amendment Act of 1976 mandates that the President abide by the Council of Ministers' advice.
    • Article 60 discusses the President's Oath or Affirmation. Before taking office, the President or any individual performing presidential duties must make and sign this declaration in front of the Chief Justice of India or, in his absence, the senior-most Supreme Court judge.
  • Qualification to Become President (Article 58):
    • The person must be an Indian citizen.
    • Must have reached the age of thirty-five.
    • Requires qualification to join the Lok Sabha.
    • According to Article 59, cannot occupy any office of Profit.
    • Take note: Not considered offices of profit, acting presidents, vice presidents, ministers of union or state, and governors of states are eligible to run for president.
    • You need 50 proposers and 50 seconders among the electorate in order to be eligible to run for office.
    • There is a 15,000 rupee deposit with the RBI.

Election of the President (Article 54-55)
In accordance with Article 54, the members of an electoral college shall elect the President of India.
India's president is elected indirectly.

The Electoral College Consist of (Article 54):
  • The Elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • The 'Legislative Assemblies of State' elected members.
  • The members of the "Legislative Assemblies of UT of Delhi and Puducherry" who have been elected.
  • Take note: The nominees for the legislative council and parliament do not cast ballots in the presidential election.
  • The process for electing a president is mentioned in Article 55.

The proportional representation system is followed when holding elections. through secret ballot voting and a single transferable vote.

The scale of representation among the states shall, to the greatest extent feasible, be uniform, and there shall be parity between the states and the union. A specific formula that establishes each member of Parliament and State Legislatives' number of votes has been adopted in order to ensure such uniformity.

It states that the formula for ascertaining the members of the State Legislative Assembly's vote total is as follows.
Population of the state

--------------------------------------------------------- * 1000

Total number of members of legislature
i.e the population of any state is divided by the total number of the elected member of the assembly and quotient so obtained is further divided by 1000. The number so obtained is the number of voter of a member. If by the division the remainder is 500 or more it will be counted as one vote of each member.

Similarly, number of votes of member of Parliament is obtained by formula:
Total number of votes of State Assemblies


Total number of elected members of Parliament

I.e, first total number of votes of all members of the assemblies is calculated. Then it is divided by the total number of elected members of the Parliament. The quotient is number of votes of every member. If the remainder is more than half, it will be counted as one vote of each member. If less than half, it is left out.

Article 57 talks about Eligibility for re-election of President says that " 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".

Term of Office of President (Article 56)

  • The President serves a five-year term.
  • He may submit a resignation letter to the Vice-President at any point during his tenure.
  • The President may continue in office until his replacement is appointed.
  • The Vice-President will preside over India as President in the event that the President passes away or resigns.
  • The Vice-President will carry out his responsibilities without acting as President in the event that the President is ill or incapable of doing so.
  • Should the Vice-President and the President both resign from their positions. In the absence of the Chief Justice of India, the Senior Most Judge of the Supreme Court will assume the role of President.
  • The process of "Impeachment" can be used to remove the President from office.

Impeachment of President (Article 61)

  • A five-year term is awarded to the elected president. Prior to it, the president has the option of leaving office voluntarily or being impeached. The Impeachment Article 61 provides for it.
  • A president may be impeached for violating the Constitution; that is, the only basis for impeachment is a constitutional violation.
  • A resolution for impeachment may be introduced in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, depending on which house it is in. At the time of introduction, the resolution needs to have the support of at least � (25%) of the house members.
  • The President has a 14-day notice period.
  • A two-thirds majority of the house's total members must vote in favor of the resolution.
  • The second house (the investing house) will then hear the resolution.
  • After that, a committee from the other house or the entire assembly could investigate the claim.
  • The President is entitled to represent himself or himself, with the assistance of any an attorney of his choosing.
  • The President is impeached if a resolution is subsequently passed by the other house with a two-thirds majority.

Powers of President

Executive Power:

  • The President signs off on all decisions made by the Executive.
  • He appoints a number of people:
    • Prime Minister
    • Other Minister on the advice of the Prime Minister.
    • The Chief Justice and Judges of Supreme Court and all High Court.
    • Governors of state
    • Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG).
    • Chief Election Commissioner.
    • Attorney General of India.
    • Chairman of UPSC.
    • He directly administers the Union Territory Through Lt. Governor Commissioner or Administrators.
    • Head of state.
    • Appoint Inter State Council.

Legislative Power:

  • He has the authority to dissolve the Lok Sabha and he summons, Prorogues the sessions of both the houses.
  • At the start of each year, he addresses the joint sessions of the Parliament (Article 108).
  • He proposes 12 members for the Rajya Sabha and 2 for the Lok Sabha.
  • In the event that the Parliament is not in session, he may promulgate an ordinance (Article 123). The Ordinance becomes void if it is not passed by the Parliament within six weeks of the start of the session.
  • There is also veto power.
    • Absolute veto - By withholding assent, the Bill is terminated.
    • Suspensive veto - The bill is sent back for reconsideration.
    • Pocket veto - Bill is still pending.

Financial Power:

  • No money bill may be introduced without the President's prior approval, and he may make advances from India's contingency fund to meet unforeseen expenditure (Article 267).
  • He appoints a finance commission every five years (Article 280).

Judicial Power:

  • He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.
  • He can seek legal advice from the Supreme Court, but the advice is not binding on him.
  • He can grant a person convicted of any offence a pardon, reprieve, respite, or remission of punishment, or suspend, remit, or commute a person's sentence:
    • In any case where punishment is imposed by a court martial.
    • In any case where the offense violates Union Law.
    • Death penalty is imposed.

Military Power:

  • As the head of India's defence forces, he appoints the Chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • He has the authority to declare war or reach a peace agreement, but only with the Parliament's consent.

Emergency Power:

  • An emergency caused by war, external aggression, or armed rebellion. (Article 352)
  • State of emergency resulting from the failure of the state's constitutional machinery. (Article 356)
  • Declare a financial emergency. (Article 360)

Diplomatic Power:
  • All international treaties and agreements are signed in the name of the President;
  • The President sends and receives ambassadors and other representatives.

Privileges of the President (Article 361):
  • There will be no criminal proceedings of any kind during the President's term in office;
  • No court may issue an order pertaining to the President's arrest and imprisonment during his term in office;
  • The President shall not be held accountable in any court for the exercise of his powers and duties, unless the President is the subject of an impeachment proceeding.
  • A civil proceeding may be instituted against the president during his term of office if:
    • The act is done or alleged to have been done by him in his personal capacity, whether before or after assuming office.
    • A two-month notice is provided to the President or sent in office, beginning with:
      • the nature of the proceedings;
      • the cause of action;
      • the details of the other party;
      • and the relief sought by the other party.

The President of India is defined in the Indian Constitution's Chapter 1: The Executive of Part 5: The Union section. In principle, the President has a great deal of power. A constitutional monarchy is a constitutional monarchy, and after India gained its independence, the role of the President replaced that of the British monarch (represented by the Governor-General).

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