Executive of the Union The President (Art. 52)

  • Power of Executive of the Union is vested in the President of India (Art. 53).
  • President is the head of the Union Executive. The President is the 1st Citizen of India and acts as the symbol of unity, integrity and solidarity of the nation.
  • The President of India is indirectly elected by an electoral college, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
  • The electoral college for the President consists of:

- The elected members of both Houses of Parliament;

- The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states; and

- The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi and Pondicherry (now Puducherry)     [Ref: Art. 54]

  • In the President's election vote value of an

  • In the President's election vote value of an

Indirect election of the President is supported on two grounds:

  • Direct election by a large electorate of people would be very costly.
  • Real power is vested in the Ministry, so it would be anomalous to elect the President directly without giving him real powers.

Qualifications for election as President are:

(i)   Be a citizen of India;

(ii)  Have completed the age of thirty-five (35) years.

(iii) Be qualified for election as a member of the House of the People; and

(iv)  Must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the Control of any of the said Governments   [Art. 58]

  • A sitting President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any state or a Minister either for the Union or for any state is not disqualified for election as President  [Ref.: Art. 58]
  • The President's term of office is five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
  • President can submit resignation in writing under his hand addressed to the Vice-President of India.
  • The only ground for impeachment of President specified in Art 61(1) is 'violation' of the Constitution.
  • An impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure in Parliament.
  • Either House may prefer the charge of violation of the Constitution by the President provided that:

- A resolution containing the proposal is moved after a 14 days' notice in writing signed by not less than 1/4 of the total number of members of that House; and

- The resolution is then passed by a majority of not less than 2/3 of the total membership of the House.

- Charge preferred by one House is investigated by the other House.

  • The President has a right to appear and to be represented at such investigation.
  • If a resolution is passed by not less than 2/3 of the total membership of the investigating House declaring that the charge had sustained, the President shall be removed from office. [Ref. Art. 61 ]
  • The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State. If a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the Legislature of any State is elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House.

A vacancy in the office of the President can be caused in any of the following ways:

- On the expiry of his term of five years.

- By his death.

- By his resignation.

- On his removal by impeachment.

- Otherwise, e. g. on the setting aside of his election as President.

  • An election to the office of the President must be completed before the expiration of the term.

President of India

S.

Name

Tenure

1

Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963)

26 Jan., 1950-13 May, 1962

2

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1888-1975)

13 May, 1962-13 May, 1967

3

Dr. Zakir Hussain (1897-1969)

13 May, 1967-03 May, 1969

4

Sri V. V. Giri (1894-1980)

24 Aug., 1969-24 Aug., 1974

5

Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1905-1977)

24 Aug., 1974-11 Feb., 1977

6

Sri N. Sanjeeva Reddy (1913-1996)

 25 July, 1977-25 July, 1982

7

Giani Zail Singh (1916-1994)

25 July, 1982-25 July, 1987

8

Sri R. Venkataraman (1910-2009)

25 July, 1987-25 July, 1992

9

Dr. Shankar DayalSharma (1918-1999)

25 July, 1992-25 July, 1997

10

Sri K. R. Narayanan (1920-2005)

25 July, 1997-25 July, 2002

11

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)

25 July, 2002-25 July, 2007

12

 Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh PatiI (b. 1934)

25 July, 2007-25 July, 2012

13

Sri Pranab Mukherjee (b. 1935)

25 July, 2012- 25 July, 2017

14

Sri Ram Nath Kovind (b. 1945)

25 July, 2017-24 July, 2022

15

Smt. Draupadi Murmu (b.20.06.1958)

25 July, 2022-

Acting Presidents

1

Sri V.V. Giri

3 May 1969-20 July, 1969

2

Justice Md. Hidayatullah

20 July, 1969-24 Aug; 1969

3

Sri B.D. Jatti

11 Feb, 1977-25 July, 1977

Presidents died in office

1

Dr. Zakir Hussain

(died on 3 May, 1969)

2

Sri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

(died on 11 Feb, 1977)

  • The outgoing President continues to hold office, notwithstanding that his term has expired, until his successor enters upon the office. [Ref: Art 56 (1) (c)]

There is no scope for the Vice-President getting a chance to act as President in this case.

  • If vacancy arises other than by expiry of the term an election to fill the vacancy must be held within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy.
  • If a mid-term vacancy arises in the office of the President, Vice-President acts as President until a new President is elected.

Increase in the Emoluments of President, Vice-President and the Governor,

  • The Budget 2018-19 proposes to revise emoluments to Rs. 5 lakh for the President, Rs. 4 lakh for the Vice President and Rs. 3.5 lakh per month to Governor. These emoluments were last revised in 2006.
  • With regard to the emoluments paid to the Members of Parliament, the Finance Minister proposed necessary changes to refix the salary and allowances with effect from April 1, 2018. According to him (FM) the law will also provide for automatic revision of emoluments every five years indexed to inflation.

Powers of President

Administrative power

  • The President is the formal head of the administration. All executive actions of the Union are expressed to be taken in the name of the President.  [Ref: Art. 77]
  • All officers of the Union are the President's subordinates and he or she has a right to be informed of the affairs of the Union.  [Art. 78,53(1)]

Oath and Resignation

Post

Oath

Resignation

President

Chief Justice of SC

Vice President

V. President

President

President

Governor

Chief Justice of High Court

President

Chief Justice of India

President

President

P. Minister

President

President

Speaker, Lok Sabha

no oath

Deputy Speaker

The President shall have the power to appoint and remove high dignitaries including: The chairman and Members of the UPSC

  • The Prime Minister of India
  • Other Ministers of the Union
  • The Attorney-General for India
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India *
  • The Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court ‘
  • The Chief Justice and Judges of the High Courts of the states*
  • The Governors of states
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners of India
  • Members of Inter State Council
  • Chief Commissioners of Union Territories
  • Members of Finance Commission
  • Members of Language Commissions
  • Members of Backward Class Commission
  • Members of Minorities Commission
  • Indian Ambassadors and other diplomats

Can be removed from office through special constitutional provisions (by impeachment) [Art 56 (2)].

Military power

  • The Supreme command of the Defence Forces is vested in the President of India, but the Parliament can regulate or control the exercise of such powers [Ref. Art. 53(2)]
  • Certain acts cannot be done by the President without approaching Parliament for sanction, e.g. acts which involved the expenditure of money [Ref. Art. 114(3)], such as the raising, training and maintenance of the Defence Forces.

Diplomatic power

  • The President is empowered to negotiate treaties and agreements with other countries on the advice of his Ministers, subject to ratification by Parliament.
  • President of India represents India in International affairs, appoints Indian representatives to other countries and receives diplomatic representatives of other States.

Legislative power

  • President has the power to summon or prorogue the Houses of Parliament and to dissolve the Lok Sabha. [Ref. Art. 85]
  • He also has the power to summon a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in case of a deadlock between them.  [Ref. :Art. 108]
  • The President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together, at the first session after each general election to the Lok Sabha and at the commencement of the first session of each year.
  • The President has the right to address either Houses or their joint sitting, at any time and to require the attendance of members for this purpose.   [Ref. Art. 86(1)]
  • In the Rajya Sabha 12 members are nominated by the President from persons having special knowledge or practical experience of literature, science, art and social services. [Ref. Art. 80(1)]
  • The President is empowered to nominate not more than two Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha, if that community is not adequately represented in that House. [Ref. Art. 331]
  • Previous sanction or recommendation of the President is required for introducing legislation on following matters;
  • A Bill for the formation of new states or the alteration of boundaries, of existing states.  [Ref.: Art. 3]
  • A Bill providing for any of the matters specified in Art. 31A (1)

- A money Bill [Ref. Art. 117(1)]

- A Bill involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. [Ref. Art. 117(3)]

- A Bill affecting taxation in which States are interested.

- State Bills imposing restrictions upon the freedom of trade.     [Ref. Art.304]

  • A Bill becomes an Act of the Indian Parliament only after it receives the assent of the President.
  • When a Bill is presented to the President for assent:

- He may declare his assent to the Bill; or

- He may withhold his assent to the Bill; or

- He may, in the case of Bills other than Money Bills return the Bill for reconsideration of the Houses, with or without a message suggesting amendments. If the Bill is passed again by both Houses of Parliament with or without amendment and again presented to the President it would be obligatory upon him to declare his assent to it.   [Ref.: Art. 111]

  • The veto power of the Indian President is a combination of the absolute, suspensive and pocket vetoes.
  • President of India has the power of disallowance or return for reconsideration of a Bill of the state legislature, which are reserved for his consideration  by the Governor of the State [Ref. :Art. 201].
    A Money Bill so reserved, cannot be returned by the President.
  • It is not obligatory upon the President to give his assent even to the Bills reconsidered by the state legislature.      [Ref. Art.201]
  • The President can legislate by Ordinances at a time when it is not possible to have a Parliamentary enactment on the subject, immediately.  [Ref. Art. 123]

Pardoning Power

  • President as well as the Governors possess power  to grant pardon. [Ref. Arts. 72,161]
  • Pardon rescinds (abrogates or revokes) both the sentence and the conviction and absolve the offender from all punishment and disqualifications.
  • Commutation merely substitutes one form of punishment for another of a lighter character.
  • Remission reduces the amount of sentence without changing its character.
  • Respite means awarding a lesser sentence instead of the penalty prescribed in view of pregnancy of a woman offender etc.
  • Reprieve' means a stay of execution of a sentence, e.g, pending a proceeding for pardon or commutation.

Comparison between Pardoning Powers of the President and a Governor

  • President has the power to grant pardon, reprieve respite, suspension, remission or commutation, in respect of punishment or sentence by court-martial Governor has no such power.
  • President’s powers extend up to the executive power of the union. Governor's powers extend up to the executive power of the state.
  • Governor has no power to pardon in case of sentence of death, but he can suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death. Only President can pardon a death sentence.

Emergency power

  • The President has extraordinary powers to deal with a situation of emergency.

Miscellaneous powers

  • The President has the Constitutional authority to make rules and regulations relating to various matters.
  • He / she has the power to give instruction to a Governor to promulgate an Ordinance if a Bill containing the same provisions requires previous sanction of the President.
  • President has the power to refer any question of Public importance for the opinion of the Supreme Court.
  • President has the power to appoint certain commissions for the purpose of reporting on specific matters, such as, Commissions to report on the administration of Scheduled Areas and welfare of Scheduled Tribes and backward classes; the Finance Commission; Commission on Official Language; an Inter-State Council.
  • President has some special powers relating to Union Territories or territories which are directly administered by the Union.
  • The President shall have certain special powers in respect of the administration of Scheduled Area and Tribes and Tribal Area in Assam.
  • The President has certain special powers and responsibilities regarding the administration of the Scheduled Caste.

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