EXECUTIVE POWERS

ARTICLE 53 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

The Executive Powers of the Union are stated in Article 53 of the Indian Constitution.

  • Clause [1] of the Article 53 defines that the executive power of the union shall be conferred with the President and shall be implemented by him either directly or through his officers in obedience to the Constitution.
  • Clause [2] of the Article 53 gives the power to the President to act as the supreme commander of the Defense Forces of the Union and shall be regulated by law.
  • Clause [3] of the Article 53 grants Parliament authority to give additional Powers to the President if it deems fit and these powers can be further delegated by the President to State governors.

ARTICLE 77 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Article 77 of the Constitution of India states the manner in which the Conduct of business of the Government of India is carried on.

  • Clause [1] of the Article 77 clearly states that all executive action of the Indian Government shall be taken in the President’s name.
  • Clause [2] of the Article 77 exempts the orders and instruments executed by the President to be questioned in court.
  • Clause [3] of the Article 77 confers the President with the authority to make rules for the better transaction of the business of the Government of India and also for the assignment among the Ministers of the said business.

ARTICLE 75 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Article 75 of the Constitution of India deals with the responsibility of the President in appointing the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers

  • Clause [1] of the Article 75 states that the President shall appoint the Prime Minister and, on his advice, other Ministers.
  • Clause [2] of the Article 75 states that the Ministers shall hold their office during the pleasure of the President.
  • Clause [4] of the Article 75 assigns this duty to the President to administer the oaths of office to all the Ministers.

The Executive Powers includes appointment of certain officials by the President –

  • The Attorney General of India [Article 76]
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India [Article 148]
  • Chief Election Commission and Election Commissioner [Article 324(2)]
  • Chairman and other members of UPSC [Article 316]
  • Members of Finance Commission [Article 280]
  • All members of National Commission for Scheduled Caste [Article 338]
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribe [Article 338(A)]
  • Judges of Supreme Court [ Article 124]
  • Judges of High Court [Article 217]
  • Governor of States [Article 155]

Other Executive Functions of the President

  • 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 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
  • The President can also dissolve the Union Council of Ministers in accordance with Article 75(2) of the constitution, if he finds that the Ministry does not enjoy the support of the majorities in the Lok Sabha

CASE LAWS

Article 53 says that ‘The executive power of the Union, shall be vested in the President and it shall be exercised by him in accordance with the Constitution either directly or through officers subordinate to him.’ It has been held in Emperor v. Sibnath Banerjee [1]that the term “officers subordinate to him” includes a minister as well.

In Ram Jawaya Kapur v. State of Punjab[2],even the Supreme Court finds it difficult to explain the context of the executive power. The Court has observed, “It may not be possible to frame an exhaustive definition of what executive functions mean and imply. Ordinarily, the executive power connotes the residue of government functions that remain after the legislative and judicial functions are taken away.” It is neither necessary nor possible to give an exhaustive enumeration of the kinds and categories of executive functions which may comprise both the formulations of the policy as well as its execution.

In Ram Jawaya Kapur’s case, in pursuance of its policy of nationalizing text books used in the recognized schools in the State, the Punjab Government issued an executive order acquiring the copyright in selected books from the authors and undertaking itself the printing, publishing and sale of those books. Private publishing houses were thus ousted from the text-book business. This order was challenged by the petitioners on the ground that executive power of the State did not extend to undertaking trading activities without a legislative sanction. It was, however, held that the executive power was not confined to matters on which legislation had already been passed. If the executive formulates a policy to start a trade or business it is not always necessary to have legislative sanction. If a trade or business requires expenditure or funds legislative authorization is necessary. In this case the provision for funds in the appropriation Act was already made and hence there was no need of a specific legislation for carrying on the trade or business.

CONCLUSION

In India’s Constitution, the president is a nominal head and all the core powers are vested with the council of ministers and the prime minister. Though numerous powers have been given to the president in reality they were subordinate to the wills of the ruling government. The independent decision-making power is hard to see in the working of the president. India has entered into an age of coalition politics. And it may so happen that no single party will be able to secure an absolute majority, and the President may be required to exercise his discretionary power for some time to come, in appointing Prime Minister. The executive power of the Union which is exercisable by the President is co-extensive with the legislative powers of the Union. The executive power of the Union does not extend to a matter in the Concurrent List unless :

(1) expressly provided in the Constitution e. g. Articles 256, 257, 258, 353 and 356, or

(2) expressly entrusted by a law made by Parliament.

REFERENCES

Constitution of India by J.N. Pandey

https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/president/

https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/the-president-of-india-powers-and-responsibilities-1880001-2021-11-23


[1] AIR 1954 SC 156 at p. 163.

[2] AIR 1955 SC 549, 1955 2 SCR 225

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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