In India, the Union government’s powers are known as the President’s because they are exercised in his name in compliance with Article 53 of the Constitution, which states: The executive powers of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or by officers’ subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.
The President of India’s legislative powers and duties can be separated into six sections:
1. Head of the Union: The President of the Union is in charge of the Union Executive. As a result, he uses all executive authority in his own name. The President’s executive power over the Union is applied to matters over which Parliament has the jurisdiction to make legislation and sign treaties and agreements.
2. Appointments: As head of the executive branch, the President appoints governors of states, Supreme Court and High Court judges, the Auditor General of India, and a number of other high officials, including members of the Finance Commission, Election Commission, and Union Public Commission, etc.
3. The President appoints the Prime Minister and other Union Council of Ministers on his guidance. But, as with many other appointments, the President is scarcely allowed to exercise his discretion here. Normally, he is obliged to call the leader of the political party that receives an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha to become Prime Minister and form the government. Except under extraordinary cases would he have discretionary authority in this matter. When no single political party wins a strong absolute majority and no Council of Ministers can be formed without a coalition of parties, the President can nominate the Prime Minister using his discretion. In the past, circumstances like this have arisen. The era of alliance politics has arrived in India. And it’s likely that no one party will be able to obtain an overwhelming majority, requiring the President to use his veto authority to name Prime Minister for the near future.
4. Can claim proof of majority in Lok Sabha: The Union Council of Ministers usually serves for five years, unless it is dissolved sooner for some reason. The President must be confident that the Council of Ministers has the approval of the Lok Sabha’s majority. He should ask the Council of Ministers to prove its majority in the Lok Sabha if he has any questions, as Prime Minister Sri H.D. Deve Gowda was informed by the President after the Congress Party’s formal withdrawal of support from the Ministry. If the President considers that the Ministry does not have the majority support, he can disband the Union Council of Ministers under Article 75(2) of the constitution.
5. The President, as head of state, is the supreme ruler of India’s armed forces and has the power to wage war or sign treaties.
Legislative powers and functions:
- The President is a member of the Union Legislature or Parliament: The Union Legislature or Parliament is made up of the President and two Houses of Parliament. As a result, the President is an important member of the Union Legislature. He has the power to call the Houses of Parliament at any time, either individually or jointly. The President has the authority to prorogue both Houses of Parliament and, if necessary, dissolve the Lok Sabha, Parliament’s lower chamber. For ex; in early 1999, the President resolved the twelfth Lok Sabha after the Vajpayee government’s confidence motion was rejected in the Lok Sabha.
- The President has the power to summon and address one of all Houses of Parliament. He will state the reasons for summoning Parliament in such an address, delivered at the first session after a general election to the Lok Sabha and at the start of a joint session of Parliament each year. In addition to addressing Parliament, the President can send messages to either Chamber, or both Houses, if necessary [Article 86(2)]. Normally, the President should not give such a letter because he is at odds with the Council of Ministers.
- The President appoints a number of representatives of both Houses of Congress. The main aim of the appointment is to ensure that all parts of the population have equal representation in Parliament, which is not always possible by elections.
- Bill-Passing Powers: The President has some powers when it comes to bill-passing. To become an Act, a bill must obtain his assent after being approved by both Houses of Parliament. When a bill is introduced to the President after gaining consent of both Chambers, he has the option of granting or withdrawing his assent. However, if Parliament, in reaction to the President’s refusal to assent to a bill, passes it a second time, with or without modifications, and sends it to the President for his consent, the President is not allowed to withhold his assent under Article 111. To put it another way, he is obliged to give his permission.
A bill approved by a state legislature can be reserved for approval by the President by the Governor of that state. And after a bill enacted by a State Assembly is forwarded to him by the State Government under Article 200 does the President have this right in relation to it.
- Power to Promulgate Ordinances: when both the houses of Parliament are not in session, the President has the power to promulgate those Ordinances if the situations need (Article 123). An ordinance may have the same power and effect as a piece of legislation enacted by Parliament. If all Houses of Parliament may not enact the ordinance within the time frame, it will be invalidated. The case of A.K. Roy vs. Union of India (1982) shows that the President’s pleasure must be focused on the presence of a condition that allows the President to issue an Ordinance.
Financial powers and functions:
India’s President also has financial authority. Without the President’s permission, no money bill can be passed in Parliament. The President of India is mandated by the Indian Constitution to deliver the Annual Financial Statement to both Houses of Parliament. The central government’s revenue and expenditure forecasts for the coming year are seen in this statement. It should be remembered that no request for taxes or spending can be made without the President’s permission. Without the President’s approval, no request for investing money or collecting taxes for government purposes can be presented in Parliament.
Emergency powers of the President:
- National Emergency: When the security of India or any part of it is threatened by war, armed rebellion, or foreign aggression, the President of India may issue a Decree of National Emergency. A Declaration of Emergency of this sort could last indefinitely. The executive authority of the states is to be exercised in compliance with the instructions issued by the Central Government after a Declaration of National Emergency. Parliament has the right to pass regulations on the issues specified in the State List. Article 19’s rights to freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association, freedom of practice and occupation, and others will remain in place.
- State Constitutional Machinery Collapses: In the case that a state’s legislative machinery collapses, the President of India has the power to issue a decree to that effect. This form of emergency will last for up to three years. In such a case, the President has the right to exercise the executive powers of the state. The Union Parliament will exercise the constitutional powers of the state legislatures.
- Financial Emergency: If the President feels that India’s financial stability is in jeopardy, he will issue a Financial Proclamation. This sort of emergency could last an infinite length of time. The Central Government has the power to issue directives to the states on financial propriety canons. Both money bills approved by state governments have to be kept in place for the President’s consideration.
In behalf of the President, all international conventions and agreements are concluded and ratified. In fact, however, such talks are generally held by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet (especially the Foreign). Furthermore, all treaties must be accepted by Parliament. The President is India’s representative in international forums and relations, where his position is largely ceremonial. The President will also send and receive ambassadors, i.e., Indian Foreign Service officers. The President is the country’s first citizen.
Pardoning powers of the President:
Every person who has been sentenced by a court of law is liable for pardons, reprieves, or remissions of punishment from the President of India. The President of India, as specified in Article 72 of the Indian Constitution, has the right to grant pardons in the following circumstances:
a) Penalty is for a breach of Union Law;
b) Punishment is carried out by a Military Court; and
c) Death is the sentence.
The President’s decisions on pardoning and other privileges are taken without consideration for the Prime Minister’s or the Lok Sabha majority’s views. The President, on the other hand, generally exercises his executive authority on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
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