Powers and Functions of President of India
In this article, we will discuss the topic Powers and Functions of President of India.
Alongside this, we will answer all the questions like the present president of India, President of India list from 1950 to 2017, Salary, election process, impeachment, and much more.
Who is the Present President of India?
Shri Ram Nath Kovind is the present and 14th President of India. He had assumed the office of the President on 25 Jul 2017.
Before entering politics Shri Kovind was a lawyer for 16 years till 1993.
Shri Ram Nath Kovind was born on 01 Oct 1945, in village Paraunkh, district Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh.
He had served as 36th Governor of Bihar from 16 Aug 2015 to 20 Jun 2017 before assuming the office of the President.
Smt. Savita Kovind is the wife of Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
Who is the First President of India?
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India and was in office from 26 Jan 1950 to 13 May 1962.
He is the only Indian to date, who was elected for two terms. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1962.
Role of President in India
Article 52 of the Constitution of India states that there shall be a President of the Republic of India.
He is the symbol of integrity, unity, prestige, and solidarity of the nation.
Part V of the Constitution of India from Article 52 to 62 mentions all details regarding President.
President is the nominal head of the state.
He is the formal head of the executive, judiciary and legislature of India.
President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
He is the first citizen of the country.
The President shall hold office for a term of five years with an entitlement of re-election.
The President is eligible for re-election.
The official website of the President is https://presidentofindia.nic.in/
Election of President of India
Article 54, 55, and 71 of the Constitution deals with the election of the President.
However, the 70th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1992 gave voting rights to MLA’s of Delhi and Puducherry for the election of President.
It states that the President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of:-
(a) the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and
(b) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
(c) the elected members of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union territory of Puducherry.
It deals with the method of the Presidential election. The President is elected by proportional representation with a single transferable vote system.
Proportional representation means that in order to get elected the candidate must get a quota of votes i.e. more than 50% of valid votes.
Under the single transferable vote system, an elector can indicate more than one preference on his ballot paper.
He can make as many preferences as the number of candidates are.
Value of vote of one MLA = Total Population of the State/total number of elected MLAs X 1/1000
Value of vote of one MP = Total value of votes of all the MLAs/ Total number of MPs.
Article 71 (1)
All doubts and disputes related to the election of the President shall be inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court of India.
The decision of the Supreme Court of India shall be final.
Article 71 (2)
It states that if the election of a person as President or Vice-President is declared void by the Supreme Court, then acts done by him in the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of the office of President or Vice-President, shall not be invalidated.
Tenure of Office of the President of India
The President holds the office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office except:-
(a) The President may resign his office by writing to the Vice-President.
(b) The President can be removed by impeachment for violation of the Constitution as provided in Article 61.
(c) The President shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters his office.
Eligibility for Re-election states that any person who holds, or who has held, office as President shall be eligible for re-election to that office.
Also Read:- President Rule in India
President of India Salary
The salary of the President is Rs. 5,00,000.00 (US$7,200) five lakhs which includes other allowances fixed to the President.
The spouse of the President gets secretarial assistance of Rs 30,000.00 p.m.
Impeachment of President in India
Article 61 deals with the impeachment of the President. The President can be impeached on the grounds of violation of the Constitution.
The impeachment motion can be brought about in the form of resolution in either house of the Parliament.
It must be supported by not less than 1/4 of the total strength of the house for its introduction.
This resolution can be passed with a special majority of not less than 2/3 of the total strength of the house voting in favor of the impeachment motion.
It can be passed only after the expiry of the 14 days notice served to the President.
The other House acts as an investigating house. It investigates the charge itself or appoints a committee to investigate.
The President has the right to defend himself in this house through an attorney or personally.
If the second house also passes the resolution after an investigation by not less than 2/3 of the total strength of the house, then from that day the President is considered to be impeached.
It is a quasi-judicial process as the second house acts as the investigating house.
Who administers the oath of office to the President?
Chief Justice of India administers the Oath to the elected President in the historic Central Hall of the Parliament.
A 21-gun salute is also fired in the honor of the new President.
Powers of President of India
The powers of the President of India are mentioned below in the succeeding paragraphs:-
Executive Powers of President of India
Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the executive power of the union shall be vested in the President thus making him the head of the executive.
He exercises the executive powers either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
- Under this executive power, he appoints the Prime Minister and on the latter’s advice, the other member of the Union Council of Ministers, to aid and advise him in the exercise of his functions. The President is also authorized to receive and accept their resignations and also to dismiss them individually or collectively as they hold office during his pleasure.
- He/She appoints the Attorney- General of India. He can appoint any person as the Attorney-General who is qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme court.
- He/She has the authority to appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, provided the candidate to be appointed is qualified to be a judge of the Supreme Court.
- He also appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in the states.
- He/She appoints the Governor of the states. These appointments are made in consultation with the Prime Minister. He/She can receive the Governor’s resignation or dismiss him, as the latter holds his office during the pleasure of the President.
- The President also appoints the administrators of Union-Territories and determines the designations to be held by them. They are variously known as Lt. Governors, Chief-commissioners, or administrators.
- He is competent to appoint an inter-state council to advise upon the disputes between the states. Also, to investigate and discuss matters of common interest between the Union and the state or amongst the state themselves.
- The President appoints chairmen and members of the Union Public Service Commission and the Joint Public Service Commissions.
- He nominates the Chief Election Commissioner and the Deputy Chief Election Commissioners.
- Besides he also gives appointments to many other statutory Commissions, like Language Commission and commissioners for scheduled areas and backward classes, and the special officers for scheduled castes and tribes, and for the linguistic minorities.
Legislative Powers of President of India
In India, there is a parliamentary form of Government. The President is an integral part of the Union Parliament.
It consists of the President and two Houses known respectively as Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.
So, a bill, before becoming an Act, must be approved by the two houses of the Parliament but also be assented to by the President.
- The President has the power to nominate a maximum of 12 members to the Rajya Sabha who holds special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of art, science, literature, and social service.
- Article 331 empowers him to nominate two members from Anglo Indian Community to the Lok Sabha if he is satisfied that the community is not adequately represented in the House.
- The President appoints the acting Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the acting Chairman of the Rajya Sabha in case both the Chairman/Deputy chairman and Speaker/Deputy speaker are not available.
- The President administers the oath of office to the members of both the houses of the Parliament.
- He addresses both the Houses on the inaugural session after each general election and presents the agenda of the government in a joint session.
- Article 123 authorizes the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of the Parliament.
- All bills passed by the Parliament are sent to him for his consideration. If, however, he wants the Parliament to modify or amend a bill, he is free to return it for their reconsideration, with or without his recommendations. Only upon his assent, the bill becomes a law.
- He also has the power to recommend to the parliament to formulate laws to form new states or to alter areas, boundaries, or names of the existing states.
- She/He has the power to summon the joint sitting over non-money bills passed by one house and either rejected or delayed for more than 6 months by the other house.
- He alone can summon and prorogue the Houses of the Parliament.
- Money bills require the previous sanction of the President before its introduction in the Lower House.
Article 53 of Indian constitution – Military Powers of the President
Article 53 vests the Supreme Command of the Defence Force in the President of India.
He makes all the important appointments in the Defence Force including Chief of the three wings of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
He is the Chairman of the Defence Council which consists, beside him, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, and the three Chiefs of Staff.
With the concurrence of the Parliament, the President can declare war and conclude treaties of peace with foreign states.
Judicial Powers of President of India
The President appoints the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court of India in consultation with the former.
He may dismiss the judges if and only if the two Houses of Parliament pass resolutions to that effect by a two-thirds majority of the members present.
He appoints the judges of the state high courts, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the concerned state.
The President can transfer judges from one High Court to another in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
Article 143 empowers the President to consult with the Supreme Court.
The President also exercises the power to grant pardons, reprieves or respites or remission of punishment.
The President is not answerable to any court for the exercise or performance of powers and duties of the office or for any act done by him in the exercise of his official duties.
Neither any criminal proceedings can be instituted against him in any court, nor can any court order his arrest or imprisonment during his term of office.
Civil suits can be instituted against him by giving him a written notice of at least two months.
Financial Powers of President of India Explanation
- All the money bills need his consent before it is initiated in the Lower House of the Parliament.
- President causes the national budget to be laid before each House of Parliament.
- Article 280 authorize President to appoint a Finance Commission consisting of a chairman and other members every fifth year, or earlier if necessary.
- The President has been given control over the Contingency Fund of India. He can make advance money from this fund to GOI for meeting unforeseen expenditure.
Diplomatic Powers of President of India
- As head of the state President represents India in International affairs.
- He appoints diplomatic representatives like Ambassadors or High Commissioners to the foreign states.
- All International treaties and agreements are concluded on his behalf and are signed by him subject to ratification by Parliament.
Emergency Powers of President of India
There are three types of emergency provided in the Constitution of India:-
- Emergency caused by war, external aggression or internal revolt
- Emergency caused by the breakdown of the Constitutional machinery in the state and
- By the threat to financial stability or credit of India, or any part of the territory thereof.
These Emergency are subdivided into categories like National Emergency, State Emergency and Financial Emergency.
What do you mean by National Emergency?
The President under Article 352 can declare an emergency at any time when he is satisfied that the security of India or part thereof has been threatened by war, external aggression or armed rebellion. It may be declared even before such eventuality takes place.
Such a proclamation is known as the National Emergency. It is issued on the recommendation of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister, in writing to the President.
This must be approved by resolutions of both houses of the Parliament within one month from the date of issue.
If Lok Sabha stands dissolved at the time of the declaration of emergency then Rajya Sabha must approve this and then within thirty days must be approved by reconstituted Lok Sabha.
If approved by both houses the proclamation of emergency continues for a period of six months.
It may continue for an indefinite period till normalcy is restored but it must be extended every six months through Parliamentary resolutions.
All such resolutions must be passed by a majority of two-thirds of members in both the Houses.
The President can revoke it any time. National Emergency may be declared in respect of the whole of India or parts of it.
How many times India was under National Emergency?
National Emergency in India has been invoked thrice. The details of the same are as follows:-
- First in October 1962 at the time of Chinese aggression this emergency was proclaimed for the first time and continued till January 1968.
- The second time it was declared in December 1971 at the time of the Indo-Pak war.
- The third time the President declared it in June 1975 on account of internal political crisis and continued till March 1977.
What do you mean by State Emergency?
The State Emergency is also known as a political emergency, President’s Rule and some others also refer to it as Governor’s rule.
Article 356 states that if the President receives a report from the Governor of a state or otherwise is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of a state cannot be carried on as per the provision of the Constitution of India he may declare a state emergency.
The Parliament must approve of the proclamation within two months. Such an emergency can continue for a period of six months at a stretch and can be extended up to a maximum period of three years.
However, every six months the proclamation should be renewed by the Parliament.
The President takes over the administration of the state, except the powers of the High Court.
This is why it is called the President’s Rule. He authorizes the Governor of the state to run its administrations on his behalf.
He may appoint advisors to assist the Governor in the discharge of his functions, during this period.
The Legislative Assembly of the state is either dissolved or kept suspended depending upon the situation.
What do you mean by Financial Emergency?
Article 360 states that, if the President is satisfied that the financial stability of India or any of its part is seriously affected he may proclaim a financial emergency.
The duration of such a proclamation ordinarily remains in force for a period of two months.
It has to be approved by both the house of Parliament. It can continue for an indefinite period until it is revoked by the President.
Since the inception of the Constitution of India, we had not seen any financial emergency so far.
Discretionary Powers of the President of India:-
Appointment of the Prime Minister:- After the general elections, the President is bound to invite the leader of the coalition or single largest party that gets a majority in Lok Sabha to form a government. But when none of the political parties or coalition gets a majority in the lower house the President can use his discretion and can appoint the leader of any Political party as the PM who is his opinion can provide a stable government.
Power to send a Bill for reconsideration of Parliament:- The President can send a bill other than a money bill or a Constitutional amendment bill for the reconsideration of Parliament only for once.
Pocket Veto:- When an Ordinary bill after being passed by the parliament goes to the President for his assent, he can give his assent or he may declare that he is withholding the assent, or he may send the bill for the reconsideration of the Parliament only for once.
Dissolution of the Lok Sabha:- The President dissolves the Lok Sabha on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers but he is not bound to follow the advice of the council of ministers which has lost the vote of the confidence in the lower house.
Lists of Presidents of India from 1950 to 2019 with Tenure–
|1.||Dr. Rajendra Prasad||26 Jan 1950 to 13 May 1962|
|2.||Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan||3 May 1962 to 13 May 1967|
|3.||Dr. Zakir Hussain||13 May 1967 to 3 May 1969|
|4.||Varahagiri Venkata Giri||3 May 1969 to 20 July 1969|
|5.||Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah||20 July 1969 to 24 Aug 1969|
|6.||Varahagiri Venkata Giri||24 Aug 1969 to 24 Aug 1974|
|7.||Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed||24 Aug 1974 to 11 Feb 1977|
|8.||B.D. Jatti||11 Feb 1977 to 25 July 1977|
|9.||Neelam Sanjiva Reddy||25 July 1977 to 25 July 1982|
|10.||Giani Zail Singh||25 July 1982 to 25 July 1987|
|11.||R. Venkataraman||25 July 1987 to 25 July 1992|
|12.||Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma||25 July 1992 to 25 July 1997|
|13.||K.R. Narayanan||25 July 1977 to 25 July 2002|
|14.||Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam||25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007|
|15.||Smt. Pratibha Patil||25 July 2007 to 25 July 2012|
|16.||Shri. Pranab Mukherjee||25 July 2012 to 25 July 2017|
|17.||Ram Nath Kovind||25 July 2017 to till date|