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.
WHO IS THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA?
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.
HOW IS A PRESIDENT ELECTED?
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:
- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
- Legislative Assemblies of the states (Legislative Councils have no role)
- Legislative Assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry
WHAT IS THE TERM OF PRESIDENT’S OFFICE?
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.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE PRESIDENT?
A candidate has to meet some qualifications to be elected as the president. Those qualifications of the President are:
- He should be an Indian Citizen
- His age should be a minimum of 35 years
- He should qualify the conditions to be elected as a member of the Lok Sabha
- He should not hold any office of profit under the central government, state government, or any public authority
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT?
The only condition for the initiation of impeachment of the Indian president is the ‘violation of the constitution.’
Note: Indian Constitution contains no definition of ‘violation of the constitution.’
WHAT ARE THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT?
LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THE PRESIDENT
- He summons or prorogues Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha
- He summons a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in case of deadlock
- He addresses the Indian Parliament at the commencement of the first session after every general election
- He appoints speaker, deputy speaker of Lok Sabha, and chairman/deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha when the seats fall vacant (to know the difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha check the linked article.)
- He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha
- He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community
- He consults the Election Commission of India on questions of disqualifications of MPs.
- He recommends/ permits the introduction of certain types of bills (to read on how a bill is passed in the Indian Parliament, check the linked article.)
- He promulgates ordinances
- He lays the following reports before the Parliament:
- Comptroller and Auditor General
- Union Public Service Commission
- Finance Commission, etc.
EXECUTIVE POWER OF THE PRESIDENT
- For every executive action that the Indian government takes, is to be taken in his name
- He may/may not make rules to simplify the transaction of business of the central government
- He appoints the attorney general of India and determines his remuneration
- He appoints the following people:
- 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 appoints National Commissions of:
- He appoints inter-state council
- He appoints administrators of union territories
- He can declare any area as a scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas
JUDICIAL POWERS OF PRESDIENT
- 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.
Note: Pardoning powers of the president includes the following types:
- 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
Military Powers of President
He is the commander of the defence forces of India. He appoints:
- Chief of the Army
- Chief of the Navy
- Chief of the Air Force
Emergency Powers of President
He deals with three types of emergencies given in the Indian Constitution:
- National Emergency (Article 352)
- President’s Rule (Article 356 & 365)
- Financial Emergency (Article 360)
What is the 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, check the linked article.
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