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President And Powers Of President

The 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.

President:

Under Article 52 of the Indian Constitution the Indian President is the head of the state. He is the first citizen of India and is a symbol of solidarity, unity, and integrity of the nation. He is a part of Union Executive along with the Vice-President, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, and Attorney-General of India.

Election of President:

3 Under Article 54 of the Indian Constitution There is no direct election for the Indian President. An electoral college elects him. The electoral college responsible for President's elections comprises elected members of:
  1. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
  2. Legislative Assemblies of the states (Legislative Councils have no role)
  3. 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 is not involved in electing the President of India:

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

Term of the President's office:

Under Article 56 of The Indian Constitution 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 has 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.

Qualifications of the President:

Under Article 58 of the Indian Constitution, A candidate has to meet some qualifications to be elected as the president.

Those qualifications of the President are:

  1. He should be an Indian Citizen
  2. His age should be a minimum of 35 years
  3. He should qualify the conditions to be elected as a member of the Lok Sabha
  4. He should not hold any office of profit under the central government, state government, or any public authority


Conditions of the President's office:

There are a few conditions for the candidate running for the President's elections:
  1. 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
  2. He should not hold any office of profit
  3. For his residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan is provided to him without the payment of rent
  4. Parliament decides his emoluments, allowances and privileges
  5. Parliament cannot diminish his emoluments and allowances during his term of office
  6. He is given immunity from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts
  7. Arrest or imprisonment of the President cannot take place. Only civil proceedings can be initiated for his personal acts that too after giving two months of prior notice.

Procedure for impeachment of a President:

Under Article 61 of the Constitution, The only condition for the initiation of impeachment of the Indian president is the 'violation of the constitution.'

Indian Constitution contains no definition of violation of the constitution.

The impeachment charges are signed by one- fourth of the Lok Sabha. 14 days' notice is given to the president. Lok Sabha after signing the charges, passes them to Rajya Sabha for investigation. Rajya Sabha agrees to the charges and passes it with two- third majority and president stands removed.

Appointments:
  1. Attorney general of India and determines his remuneration
  2. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)
  3. Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
  4. Chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission
  5. State Governors
  6. Finance Commission of India chairman and members
  7. National Commissions of;
  8. Scheduled Castes
  9. Scheduled Tribes
  10. Other Backward Classes
  11. Inter-state council
  12. Administrators of union territories
  13. Appoints speaker, deputy speaker of Lok Sabha, and chairman/deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha when the seats fall vacant

Powers and Functions of president

Executive Powers of president:
  • For every executive action that the Indian government takes, is to be taken in his name
  • He seeks administrative information from the 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 can declare any area as a scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas

Legislative powers of president:

  • Summons or prorogues Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha
  • Summons a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in case of deadlock
  • Addresses the Indian Parliament at the commencement of the first session after every general election
  • Nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha
  • Can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community
  • Consults the Election Commission of India on questions of disqualifications of MPs.
  • Recommends/ permits the introduction of certain types of bills
  • Promulgates ordinances
  • He lays the following reports before the Parliament:
    • Comptroller and Auditor General
    • Union Public Service Commission
    • Finance Commission, etc.

Financial powers of the president:

  • To introduce the money bill, his prior recommendation is a must
  • He causes Union Budget to be laid before the Parliament
  • To make a demand for grants, his recommendation is a pre-requisite
  • Contingency Fund of India is under his control
  • He constitutes the Finance Commission every five years

Judicial powers of president:

  • Appointment of Chief Justice and Supreme Court/High Court Judges are on him
  • He takes advice from the Supreme Court, however, the advice is 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.

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

Diplomatic Powers of President:

  • 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 of President:

He is the commander of the defense forces of India. He appoints:
  1. Chief of the Army
  2. Chief of the Navy
  3. Chief of the Air Force

Emergency powers of the President

He deals with three types of emergencies given in the Indian Constitution:
  1. National Emergency (Article 352)
  2. President's Rule (Article 356 & 365)
  3. Financial Emergency (Article 360)


Ordinance making power of the president:

Article 123 deals with the ordinance making power of the President. The President has many legislative powers and this power is one of them. He promulgates an ordinance on the recommendation of the union cabinet. To read more on Ordinance Making Power of the President,

veto power of the president

The Veto Power of the President of India is guided by Article 111 of the Indian Constitution. 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 the 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.

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