Powers and Rights of the President of India

Executive Head of the State and the first citizen of India

The 42nd Amendment of the Constitution has made it obligatory on the part of the President to accept the advice of the Council of Ministers. However, 44th Amendment Act amended the word ‘obligatory and added that ‘President can send the advice for reconsideration’.

Qualification Must be a citizen of India; of 35 years in age; eligible to be a member of the Lok Sabha and must not hold any office of profit.

Election Indirectly elected through Electoral College consisting of elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

  1. Members of the Legislative Councils have no right to vote in the Presidential election.
  2. Supreme Court decides all disputes regarding President’s election.

Tenure The term is 5 years though there is no upper limit on the number of times a person can become the President (Article 57). He can give resignation to the Vice-Resident before the full –term.

  1. The salary of the President is Rs. 1, 50, 000 per month
  2. In case, the office of the President falls vacant due to death, resignation or removal, the Vice-President acts as the President.
  3. If he is not available then Chief Justice of India, If not then then senior most Judge of the Supreme Court shall act as the President of India.
  4. The first and only President who died in the office, was Dr Zakir Hussain. He was also the President with the shortest tenure.
  5. Justice M Hidayatullah was the first Chief Justice of India to be appointed as the President (July 1969-August 1969).

Impeachment Procedure

  • It is quasi-judicial procedure, President can be impeached only on the grounds of violation of the Constitution, (Article 61)
  • The impeachment procedure can be initiated in either House of the Parliament.

 Power of President

  • He is the formal head of the administration.
  • The President shall have the power to appoint and remove high authorities like the Prime Minister, other Ministers of the Union, Judges, Governors of States and appoints Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from persons of literature, arts, science and social work and 2 members in the Lok Sabha of the Anglo-Indian Community.
  • Declares were and concludes peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament
  • President has the Veto Power.
  • Under Article 71, the President has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted with death sentence.
  • Under Article 123, President can promulgate, Ordinances, when the Parliament is not is session.

 Types of Vetoes

Absolute Veto withholding the assent to the Bill

Qualified Veto Can be overridden by the Legislature with a higher majority

Suspensive Veto Can be overridden by the Legislature with an ordinary majority

Pocket Veto Delay in giving assent to the Bill. The Veto power has been exercised only twice (a) by Dr. Rajendra Prasad and (b) by R. Venkata Raman. The above four the President of India is vested with three vetoes absolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto. There is no qualified veto in the case Indian President.

Emergency Power

  • To declare National Emergency (Article 352)
  • To impose President Rule in a State (Article 356 and 365)
  • To declare Financial Emergency (Article 360)

 Vice-President

  • Article 63 of the Constitution stipulates a Vice-President for India.
  • He is elected by both the Houses of Parliament.
  • The Vice-President is the Ex-Officio Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) as mentioned in the Article 64
  • Present salary of the Vice-President is Rs. 1, 25000 Per Month.
  • The First Vice-President of India was Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
  • The first any only Vice-President who died in the Office was Shri Krishna Kant (1997-2002).

Council of Ministers

  • Article 74 of the Constitution states that there shall be a Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister at its head, to aid and advise the President.
  • It is composes of all Union Ministers the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.
  • The other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under Article 75(1).
  • A Minister must be a member of either House of Parliament or be elected within 6 months of assuming office under Article 75(5).
  • The Council of Ministers is collectivity responsible to the Lok Sabha, that is, a vote of no confidence even against a single Minister means the entire Council must resign (Article 75 (3).
  • Ministers are also responsible for their departments and can be removed from the office by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. This is essentially an individual responsibility under Article 75 (2).
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