12. Union Executive – President

0
58
polity study materials 12
  • The president is the constitutional head of the Republic of India.
  • He is more or less the titular head of the executive, real power being vested in the hands of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Government is run in the name of the president though he cannot run the Government except in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet.
  • The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution has made it obligatory on the part of the
  • President to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers with the provision that he has power to ask the Council of Ministers, to reconsider their advice but if the latter on reconsideration reiterates the same advice, the president has no option but to accept it.

Union Executive – President

  • The president is the constitutional head of the Republic of India.
  • He is more or less the titular head of the executive, real power being vested in the hands of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Government is run in the name of the president though he cannot run the Government except in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet.
  • The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution has made it obligatory on the part of the
  • President to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers with the provision that he has power to ask the Council of Ministers, to reconsider their advice but if the latter on reconsideration reiterates the same advice, the president has no option but to accept it.

Qualification and conditions for election as President:

  • To be eligible for election as President, a person Must be a citizen of india
  • Must have completed the age of 35 years;
  • Must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha;
  • Must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local authority subject to the control of any of these Government.
  • The president of India is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of States in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
  • The total voting strength of Parliament is equal to the total voting strength of all state Assemblies together and all states are uniformly represented at this election.

Term of office and Emoluments:

  • The president holds office for a period of five years. He is eligible for re-election.
  • The president may be removed from office for violation of the Constitution before the expiry of his term by impeachment (Article 56).
  • He has the option to resign voluntarily before the expiry of his full term.
  • In case of resignation, the president is supposed to write in his own hand a letter addressed to the Vice-President of India indicating his desire to resign.
  • The Vice-President shall have to communicate forthwith such a decision of the President to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Powers of the President:

  • The President of India shall be the head of the ‘executive power’ of the Union.
  • The executive power may, therefore, be shortly defined as ‘the power of carrying on the business of government’ or ‘the administration of the affairs of the State’, except functions which are vested by the Constitution in any other authority.

Executive powers in a Modern State have been classified under the following heads:

  • Administrative power, i.e., the execution of the laws and the administration of the departments of government.
  • Military Power,e., the command of the armed forces and the conduct of war. Legislative Power,e., the summoning, prorogation, etc., of the legislature, initiation of and assent to legislation and the like.
  • Judicial Power,e., granting of pardons, reprieves, etc., to persons convicted of crime. Diplomatic Power is a very wide subject and is sometimes spoken of as identical with the power over foreign or external affairs, which comprise “all matters which bring the Union into relation with any foreign county”.
  • Emergency Power
  • Financial Power.

Executive Powers (Or) Administrative Powers:

The executive powers and functions of the president are:

  1. All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his
  2. He can make rules specifying the manner in which the orders and other instruments made and executed in his name shall be
  3. He can make rules for more convenient transaction of business of the Union government, and for allocation of the said business among the
  4. He appoints the Prime Minister and the other They hold office during his pleasure.
  5. He appoints the Attorney General of India and determines his The Attorney General holds office during the pleasure of the president.
  6. He appoints the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the Governors of states, the Chairman and Members of Finance commission, and so
  7. He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union, and proposals for legislation from the Prime
  8. He can require the prime minister 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
  9. He can appoint a commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs, STs and other Backward
  10. He can appoint an Inter-State Council to promote Centre-State and Inter-State cooperation.
  11. He directly administers the Union Territories through administrators appointed by him.
  12. He can declare any area as Scheduled Area and has powers with respect to the administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribal
  13. He can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. In the case of Pondicherry also, the president can legislate by making regulations but only when the assembly is suspended or

Legislative Powers:

 The President is an integral part of the Parliament of India, and enjoys the following legislative powers.

  1. He can summon or prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok He can also summon a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, which is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  2. He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each
  3. He can send messages to the Houses of Parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or
  4. He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall Similarly, he can also appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
  5. He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in Literature, Science, Art and Social
  6. He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian
  7. He decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament, in consultation with the Election
  8. His prior recommendation or permission is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament. For example, a bill involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, or a bill for the alteration of boundaries of states or creation of a new state.
  9. When a bill is sent to the president after it has been passed by the parliament, he can:
  • Give his assent to the bill, or
  • Withhold his assent to the bill, or

10. Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament.However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament, with or without amendments, the president has to give his assent to the bill.

When a bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the president, the president can:

  • Give his assent to the bill, or
  • Withhold his assent to the bill, or
  • Direct the governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. It should be noted here that it is not obligatory for the president to give his assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again to him for his consideration.
  1. He can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.
  2. He lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, Finance Commission, and others before the Parliament

Financial Powers:

The financial powers and functions of the president are

  1. Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior
  2. He causes to be laid before the Parliament the Annual Financial Statement (i.e. the Union Budget)
  3. No demand for a grant can be made except on his
  4. He can make advances out of the contingency fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
  5. He constitutes a Finance Commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the Centre and the

Judicial Powers:

The judicial powers and functions of the President are:

  1. He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of Supreme Court and High
  2. He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or However, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court is not binding on the president.
  3. He can grant Pardon, Reprieve, Respite and Emission of punishment, or Suspend, Remit or Commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence:
  • In all case where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial;
  • In all case where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union law; and
  • In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.

Diplomatic Power: 

  • The International Treaties and Agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the president. However, they are subject to the approval of the Parliament.
  • He represents India in International Forums and Affairs and sends and receives diplomats like Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and so on.

Military Powers:

  • He is the Supreme Commander of the defence forces of India. In that capacity, he appoints the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
  • He can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament.

Emergency Powers:

  • In addition to the normal powers mentioned above, the Constitution confers extraordinary powers on the President to deal with the following three types of emergencies:
  1. National Emergency (Article 352);
  2. President’s Rule (Article 356 & 365): and
  3. Financial Emergency (Article 360)

Procedure For Impeachment Of The President :

  • An impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure in Parliament. Either House may prefer the charge of violation of the Constitution before the other House which shall then either investigate the charge itself or cause the charge to be investigated.
  • But the charge cannot be preferred by a House unless:
  • A resolution containing the proposal is moved after a 14 days’ notice in writing signed by not less than ¼ of the total number of members of that Houses; and The resolution is then passed by a majority of not less than 2/3 of the total membership of the House.
  • The President shall have a right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. If, as a result of the investigation, a resolution is passed by not less than 2/3 of the total membership of the House before which the charge has been preferred declaring that the charge has been sustained such resolution shall have the effect of removing the President from his office with effect from the date on which such resolution is passed (Art 61).
  • Since the Constitution provides the mode and ground for removing the President, he cannot be removed otherwise than by impeachment, in accordance with the terms of Arts. 56 and 61.

Constitutional Limitations On President’s Powers:

  •  President must exercise these powers according to the Constitution (Art 53(1)). Thus, Art 75 (1) explicitly requires that Ministers (other than the Prime Minister) can be appointed by the President only on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • There will be a violation of this provision, if the President appoints a person as a Minister from outside the list submitted by the Prime Minister. If the President violates any of the mandatory provisions of the Constitution, he will be liable to be removed by the process of impeachment.
  • The executive powers shall be exercised by the President of India in accordance with the advice of his Council of Ministers (Art 74(1)).

THE 42nd AMENDMENT:

  •  Prior to 1976, there was no express provision in the Constitution that the President was bound to act in accordance with the advice tendered by the Council of Ministers, though it was judicially established, that the President of India was not a real executive, but a constitutional head, who was bound to act according to the advice of Ministers, so long as they commanded the confidence of the majority in the House of the People {Art 75(3)}. The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 amended Art 74(1) to clarify this position.
  • Article 74(1), as so amended, reads: “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice”.
  • The word “shall” makes it obligatory for the President to act in accordance with ministerial advice.

THE 44th AMENDMENT:

  •  The Janata Government Retained The Foregoing Text Of Art 74(1), As Amended By
  • The 42nd Amendment Act. But By The 44th Amendment Act, A Proviso Was Added To Art 74(1) As Follows:
  • “Provided that the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such

Veto Power Of The President:

A bill passed by the Parliament can become an act only if it receives the assent of the president. When such a bill is presented to the president

He may give his assent to the bill, or

He may withhold his assent to the bill, or

He may return the bill (if it is not a Money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the president, the president must give his assent to the bill. Thus the President has the veto power over the bills passed by the Parliament, that is, he can withhold his assent to the bills. The object of conferring this power on the president is two – fold

  1. a) To prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation by the Parliament; and
  2. b) To prevent legislation which may be

The Veto Power enjoyed by the executive in modern states can be classified into the following four types:

  • Absolute veto that is, withholding of assent to the bill passed by the legislature.
  • Qualified veto, which can be overridden by the legislature with a higher majority.
  • Suspensive veto, which can be over ridden by the legislature with an ordinary majority.
  • Pocket veto that is, taking no action on the bill passed by the legislature.
  • Of the above four, the President of India is vested with three – absolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto. There is no qualified veto in the case of Indian president.

Absolute Veto

  •  It refers to the power of the President with hold his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament. The bill then ends and does not become an act. Usually, this veto is exercised in the following two cases:
  • With respect to Private Members bills (i.e., bills introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister); and
  • With respect to the government bills when the Cabinet resigns (after the passage of the bills but before the assent by the president) and the new Cabinet advises the president not to give his assent to such bills.
  • In 1954, President Dr. Rajendra Prasad with held his assent to the PEPSU appropriation Bill.
  • Again in 1991, President R. Venkataraman with held his assent to the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill.

Suspensive Veto:

  • The president exercises this veto when he returns a bill for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, it is obligatory for the president to give his assent to the bill.
  • This means that the presidential veto is overridden by a re-passage of the bill by the same ordinary majority (and not a higher majority as required in USA).
  • As mentioned earlier, the president does not possess this veto in the case of money bills. The president can either give his assent to a money bill or withhold his assent to a money bill but cannot return it for the reconsideration of the Parliament.
  • Normally, the president gives his assent to money bill as it is introduced in the Parliament with his previous permission.

Pocket Veto

  • In this case, the president neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period. This power of the president not to take any action (either positive or negative) on the bill is known as the Pocket Veto.
  • The President can exercise this veto power as the Constitution does not prescribe any time-limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent.
  • In USA, on the other hand, the president has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. Hence, it is remarked that the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the American President.
  • In 1986, President Zail Singh exercised the pocket veto with respect to the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill.
  • It should be noted here that the President has no veto power in respect of a Constitutional Amendment Bill. The 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 made it obligatory for the President to give his assent to a Constitutional Amendment Bill.

 

Presidential veto over on State Legislation:

  • The President has veto power with respect to state legislation also. A bill passed by a state legislature can become an act only if it receives the assent of the governor or the president (incase the bill is reserved for the consideration of the President).
  • When a bill, passed by a state legislature, is presented to the governor for his assent, he has four alternatives (under Article 200 of the Constitution):
  1. May give his assent to the bill, or
  2. He may withhold his assent to the bill, or
  3. He may return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the State Legislature, or
  4. He may reserve the bill for the consideration of the President

When a bil l is reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the president, the President has three alternatives (Under Article 201 of the Constitution):

  1. He may give his assent to the bill, or
  2. He may withhold his assent to the bill, or
  3. He may direct the Governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for the reconsideration of the State Legislature. If the bill is passed again by the State Legislature with or without amendments and presented again to the president for his assent, the president is not bound to give his assent to the This means that the state legislature cannot override the veto power of the president. Further, the Constitution has not prescribed any time limit within which the president has to take decision with regard to a bill reserved by the governor for his consideration. Hence, the president can exercise pocket veto in respect of state legislation also.

Presidents of India

 

Name Tenure Tenure
Dr. Rajendra Prasad 26.01.1950 13.05.1962
Dr. S. Radhakrisnan 13.05.1962 13.05.1967
Dr. Zakir Hussian 13.05.1967 03.05.1969
V.V.Giri 03.05.1969 20.07.1969
Jus. M. hidayatullah 20.07.1969 24.08.1969
V. V. Giri 24.08.1969 24.08.1974
F. Ali Ahmed 24.08.1974 11.02.1977
B. D. Jatti 11.02.1977 25.07.1977
N. Sanjiva Reddy 25.07.1977 25.07.1982
Gaini Zail Singh 25.07.1982 25.07.1987
R. Venkatraman 25.07.1987 25.07.1992
Dr. S. D. Sharma 25.07.1992 25.07.1997
K. R. Narayanan 25.07.1997 25.07.2002
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam 25.07.2002 25.07.2007
Pratibha Patil 25.07.2007 25.7.2012
Pranab Mukherjee 25.07.2012 Till Date

 

Vice President:

Qualifications and conditions for election as Vice-president.

  • To be eligible for election as Vice-President, a person- Must be a citizen of India;
  • Must have completed the age 35 years;
  • Must be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha;
  • Must not hold any office of profit under the Union Government or a State or any local authority subject to the control of any of these Government.
  • Such a person should not be a member of either House of Parliament or of any state legislature. If sure a member is elected Vice-President, he has to resign his membership.
  • The constitution also lays down that such a person should not be an insolvent and must not be of unsound mind.
  • The Vice-president of India is elected by an indirect election, by an electoral college which consists of the members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • He is elected by single transferable vote and by secret ballot.

Functions:

  • He is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • In case he acts as President of India and discharges the functions of the president he shall not preside over the sessions of Rajya Sabha.
  • He officiates as President in case of death, resignation or removal of the latter till the new President is elected.

Term of Office of Vice-President:

  •  The Vice – President of India is elected for a period of five years. He is eligible for re- election.
  • The Vice- President may resign before the expiry of his term.
  • Parliament can remove him from office. At least fourteen days notice is necessary for this purpose.
  • If Rajya Sabha passes a resolution for removal of Vice- President by a majority of its total membership and if Lok Sabha also agrees to it, the Vice- President shall be removed from office.
  • As the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice- President presides over the meetings of the House.
  • As the Presiding Officers, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the unchallenged guardian of the prestige and dignity of the House.
  • He is also the principle spokesman of the House and represents the collective voice to the outside world.
  • He ensures that the proceedings of the House are conducted in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions, roles, practices and conventions and that decorum is maintained in the House.
  • The Office of the Vice- President is one of the unique features of the constitution of India. It has no exact parallel in the countries of other democratic constitutions of the world.

    Vice-presidents of India

    Name Tenure Tenure
    Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan 1952 1962
    Dr. Zakir Hussain 1962 1967
    Varahagiri Venkatagiri 1967 1969
    Gopal Swarup Pathak 1669 1674
    B.D. Jatti 1974 1979
    Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah 1979 1984
    R. Venkataraman 1984 1989
    Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma 1987 1992
    K.R. Narayanan 1992 1997
    Krishan Kani 1997 2002
    Bhairon Singh Shekhawat 2002 2007
    Mohammad Hamid Ansari 2007 Till date

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here