POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The President in India being the head of the State has wide powers. Some of which are enlisted below –

  • Executive Powers
  • Military Powers
  • Diplomatic Powers
  • Legislative Powers
  • Ordinance-making Power of the President

EXECUTIVE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The Constitution has conferred extensive executive powers on the President. The executive power of the Union of India is vested in him. He is the head of the Indian
Republic. All executive functions are executed in the name of the President, authenticated in such manner as may be prescribed by rules to be made by the President (Article 77). He has power to appoint –

(a)The Prime Minister and on his advice other Ministers of the Union(Article 75)

(b)The Judges of the Supreme Court(Article 124)

(c)The Judges of the High Courts(Article 217)

(d)The Governors of the States(Article 155)

(e)The Attorney-General(Article 76)

(e)The Comptroller and Auditor-General(Article 148)

(f)The Chairman and Members of the Public Service Commission(Article 316)

(g)The Members of the Finance Commission and Official Commissions(Article 280)

(h)Special Officer for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Commission to report on the administration of Scheduled Areas(Article 338, Article 338[A])

(i)Commission to investigate into the conditions of backward classes, Special Officer for linguistic minorities.

The above-mentioned officials holds their office during the pleasure of the President. This means that he has the power to remove them from their post. This power is, however, to be exercised subject to the procedure prescribed by the Constitution. It is, however, to be noted that he has to exercise his executive powers on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

MILITARY POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The President is the Supreme Commander of the Defense Forces of the country. He has powers to declare war and peace. However, the exercise of these powers by the President is “regulated by law”. The Parliament is empowered to regulate or control the exercise of the military powers by the President. The military power of the President is thus subordinate to his executive power which is exercisable by him on the advice of the Cabinet.

DIPLOMATIC POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

As the head of the State, the President sends and receives Ambassadors, and other diplomatic representatives. All treaties and international agreements are negotiated and concluded in the name of the President though subject to ratification by Parliament.

LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The President of India is a component part of the Union Parliament. In theory he possesses extensive legislative powers.

  • He has power to summon and prorogue the Parliament and he can dissolve the Lok Sabha[ Article 85 (1)]
  • The President is bound to summon Parliament within six months from the last sitting of the former session. If there is a conflict between the two Houses of Parliament over an ordinary Bill he can call a joint sitting of both Houses, to resolve the deadlock[Article 108]
  • He may send message to either Houses of Parliament [Article 86]
  • Every Bill passed by both Houses of Parliament is to be sent to the President for his assent [Article 111] He may give his assent to the Bill, or withhold his assent or in the case of a bill other than a money-bill, may return it to the House for reconsideration on the line suggested by him. If the bill is again passed by both the Houses of the Parliament with or without amendment, he must give his assent to it when it is sent to him for the second time.
  • He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from among persons having special knowledge or practical experience of Literature, Science, Art and Social Services [Article 80 (3)].
  • He is authorized by the Constitution to nominate two Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha, if he is of opinion that the Anglo-Indians community is not adequately represented in that House [Article 331]
  • The President has to lay before the Parliament the Annual Finance Budget, the report of Auditor-General, the recommendations of the Finance Commission, Report of the Union Public Service Commission, and report of the Special Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the report of the Commission of the Backward Classes and the report of the Special Officer for linguistic minorities.

ORDINANCE MAKING POWER OF THE PRESIDENT

The most important legislative power of the President is his Ordinance-making power. If at any time, when both Houses of the Parliament are not in session and the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may issue such Ordinance as the circumstances appear to him to require. The Ordinances issued by him shall have the same force as an Act of Parliament. Such Ordinances, however, must be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate, at the expiry of six weeks from the date of re-assembly of Parliament, unless a resolution disapproving it is passed by both Houses before the expiration of six weeks. The President may, if he likes, withdraw such an Ordinance at any time. An Ordinance promulgated under Article 123 is a law having the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament. It cannot be treated as an executive action or an administrative decision. The Ordinance-making power has been vested in the President to deal with unforeseen or urgent matters.

An Ordinance can be issued only when both the Houses of the Parliament are not in session. It follows from this that an Ordinance can be issued when only one House is in session because a law cannot be passed by one House alone. It is to be noted that the satisfaction is not the personal satisfaction of the President. In reality, it is the satisfaction of the Cabinet on whose advice the President exercises his Ordinance-making power.

The Ordinance-making power of the President is co-extensive with the legislative power of the
Parliament, that is to say, that it may be related to any subject in respect of which Parliament has power to legislate. Hence, an Ordinance will be void in so far it makes any provision which under the Constitution the Parliament is not competent to make. Thus an Ordinance cannot violate the fundamental rights.

CONCLUSION

In no country, except India, the Executive is vested with legislative power. The Indian
Constitution expressly confers power to make Ordinances on the President. The power to make
Ordinances is justified on the ground that the President must be armed with powers to meet with
serious situation when the Houses of Parliament are not in session. It is not difficult to imagine the cases when ordinary law-making powers may not be able to deal with a situation which may suddenly and immediately arise. Art. 123 can not be said to be undemocratic. In such circumstances, the executive must have power to take immediate action by issuing Ordinances. With all the constitutional safeguards there is possibility of abuse of the Ordinance-making power by the executive.

REFERENCES

Constitution of India by J.N Pandey

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