President of India: The Constitutional head of State

Election for President of India

The President of India is elected by indirect election system of proportional representation by mean of single transferable vote.

President of India is elected by

Shri Ram Nath Kovind became the 16th President of India. He entered his office in 2017
Shri Ram Nath Kovind
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The electoral college consists of

(i) Elected members of both the houses of parliament and the state legislature (State Legislative Assembly only).

(ii) Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi, Puduchery and Jammu and Kashmir.

Value of vote of an MLA = Population of that state from where MLA is elected / (Number of elected MLA from that state * 1000)).

Value of vote of an MP = Sum of total vote of all MLAs from different states/ Number of elected MPs

Quota vote for election = 50%+1 vote

Qualification for the president of India

(i) He must be a citizen of India.

(ii) He must have completed the minimum age of 35.

(iii) He must be qualified for election as the member of House of People.

(iv) He does not hold any office of profit at any level of government (except president, vice-president, governor, minister at any level, member of parliament and state legislature).

Tenure of President of India

The president’s term is five years from the date on which he enters upon his office but he is eligible for re-election (any number of times) as president [Article 58].

Termination of president of India

Though the president of India is elected for the period of five years but he can be removed from his office before the term of five years in either of two ways:

(i) By resignation in writing under his hand addressed to the vice-president of India.

(ii) By removal for the violation of constitution.

Removal of president of India

The president of India can be removed from his office on the allegation of violation of constitutional provisions [Article 61]. The impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure in parliament. Either House may prefer the charge of violation of the constitution before the other House which shall then either investigate the charge itself or cause the charge investigated.

Procedure to remove president:

(a) A proposal to remove president must be moved by more than 1/4th of total strength of that House.

(b) A notice will be served to the president to clarify his stand on allegation made on him.

(c) A resolution containing the proposal is moved after 14 days notice in writing signed by not less than 1/4 of the total number of members of that House.

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

Each House will have to pass the resolution with Special Majority(i.e. not less than 2/3rd of the total strength of the House) sitting separately. Joint sitting is not possible in the case of impeachment of the president.

The president shall have a right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. If second house also pass the resolution by 2/3rd majority of total strength of the house then president stand to be impeached from that date.

Salary of President

The emolument and allowance of president is determined by the Union Parliament. It is changed from time to time.

  1. Salary : Rs 5 Lacs per month( Non Taxable)
  2. Free Medical Facilities.
  3. Free accommodation.
  4. Office expense like Car, Staff, security, travel facility.

vacancy in the office of president

A vacancy in the office of the president may be caused in any of the following ways

  1. On the expiry of his term of five years.
  2. By his death.
  3. By his resignation.
  4. On his removal by impeachment.
  5. Otherwise : like on the setting aside of his election as president.

(a) The election to fill the vacancy must be completed before the expiration of term. If in any case election can not be completed the incumbent president will continue on his post till election is completed ( Vice-president is not allowed in this case).

(b) When vacancy arises due to other hand expiry of his term like death, resignation..etc. Vice-president will assume the role of president.

(c) If due to any reason if president is not able discharge his duty. The Vice-president work as acting president (e.g. due to health, non presence).

Powers and Duties of the president of India

The constitution says that the Executive power of the union shall be vested in the president[Article 53].

Executive power

(a)All executive action of the Union must be expressed to be taken in the name of president.

(b) The administrative power also includes the power to appoint and remove the high dignitaries of the state. example Prime Minister, Minister, Attorney General..etc. In making some of the appointments, the president is required by the constitution to consult a person other than his ministers as well.

(c) The Military Power : The supreme command of the Defence Forces is vested in the president of India.

(d) The Diplomatic Power.

Legislative Power

The president of the India is a component part of the Union parliament.

(a) Summon, Prorogation and Dissolution of the various sessions of the parliament.

It is the duty of the president to summon each house of parliament before the lapse of six months between the two sessions[Article 85].

Summoning the Joint Sitting in case of deadlock between two houses of parliament[Article 108].

(b) The opening address : The president shall address both houses of parliament assembled together, at the first session after each General Election to the House of People, and at the commencement of the first year and inform parliament of each of its summon[Article 87].

(c) The right to address and to send message:

Besides the right to address a Join sitting of both the houses at the commencement of the first session, the president shall also have the right to address either house or their joint sitting, at any time , and to require the attendance of members for this purpose[Article 86(1)].

(d) Right to nominate the members to the parliament:

(i) Rajya Sabha

up to 12 members can be nominated by the president from the persons having special knowledge literature, art, science, social work.

(ii) If the president think that Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in Lok Sabha, he can nominate not more than not more than two members in this house.

(e) Laying various reports before the parliament:

As per various provisions of the constitution president have to lay various reports before the parliament. Like

Annual Financial Statement(Budget)-[Article 112]

Report of Auditor General

Report of UPSC

Finance Commission[Article 280]: It is the duty of president to constitute Finance Commission after every five years to look into the matter of division of resources between centre and state.

(f) Previous sanction to legislation: There are some bills which can be introduced only after the previous sanction of the president. like

Money Bill [Article 117]

A Bill for formation of new states[Article 3]

(g) Assent to the legislation and veto :

A bill will become an act only after the assent provided by the president.

When a Bill is presented to the president after its passage from both the houses of parliament the president shall be entitled to take any of the following steps:

Veto power of the president

(i) He may declare his assent to the Bill.

(ii) He may declare that he withhold his assent to the Bill.

(iii) He may , in case other than Money Bills, returns the Bill for reconsideration of the houses. with or without message suggesting amendment. If the bill is passed again then in both the houses of parliament with or without amendment and again presented to the president . It would be obligatory upon him to declare his assent to him[Article 111]. It is known as suspensive veto.

(iv) The constitution does not prescribe any time limit within which the president is to declare his assent or refusal.

Pocket Veto : By simply keeping the Bill on his desk for an infinite period.

(h) Disallowance of the state legislature:

If the governor of a state keep the Bill for the consideration of the president. In case of Money Bill so reserved the president may either declare his assent or withhold his assent. But in the case of a Bill other than Money Bill instead of declaring his assent or refusing it, he can also direct the governor to return the bill for reconsideration.

If the state legislature again passed the Bill after reconsideration within the six months and presented to the president for his assent. The president is not bound to give his assent.

(i) The Ordinance making power of the president :[Article 123].

The Ordinance making power of president is in coexistence with the legislative power of the parliament. The ordinance can be made on any subject on which parliament can enact a law. Ordinance has the same validity as that of law made by parliament. The Ordinance can be made when parliament(both houses or any one of them) is not in session. But parliament must approve this ordinance within six weeks of summoning/reassemble.

The Ordinance power has been conferred to meet the urgent requirement/need.

Judiciary Power :

(a) Appointment of Judges of Supreme Court and High Court:

In India the judges of Supreme Court and High Court are appointed by the president after the consultation with the Collegium.

Collegium:

It consists of Chief Justice of India and other four senior most judges of Supreme Court. In the case of appointment of High Court Judge the Chief Justice of High Court is also consulted.

(b)Pardoning Power of president of India:

The pardoning power is conferred upon the Executive to correct the possible judicial errors, as no human system of judicial administration can be free from imperfections.

The exercise of pardoning power by the president is not subject to Judicial Review. But court can interfere if the decision is wholly irrelevant to the object of Article 72 or irrational, arbitrary, discriminatory or malafide.

The president has following pardoning power:

Pardon, Commutation, Remission, Respite, Reprieve.

Emergency Power:

The president of India has been provided with Emergency Power to deal with the extra-ordinary circumstances. The president of India is vested with three types of emergencies.

(a) National Emergency [Article 352] : As per this article president can declare national emergency for whole country and part of it. This emergency can be declared to deal with situations like War, External Aggression and Armed Rebellion.

(b) State Emergency/President’s Rule[Article 356]: This emergency is imposed of the governance of a state is not working as per constitutional provisions. Under this emergency the president takes over the administration of particular state.

(c) Financial Emergency[Article 360] : This emergency is imposed if financial stability and credit of India is threatened.

Miscellaneous Power:

(a)Rule making power :

The president of India has to make some rule to transact the business of Union government. like

(i) How his order and instruments shall be authenticated.

(ii) Procedure relating to Joint Sitting of Parliament.

(iii) The paying into custody of and withdrawal of money from the Public Account of India.

(b) Opinion from Supreme Court :

He has the power to refer any question of public importance for the opinion of the Supreme Court.

(c) Appoint of various commissions :

President has power to appoint various commissions. like Finance Commissions, Commissions for SC, ST, OBC.

(d) Power to give instructions to the governor:

The president of India has the power to give instructions to the governor for efficient and proper administration of state machinery.

Dispute resolution in Presidential Election :

All doubts and dispute arising out of President’s election will be challenged in Supreme Court of India only[Article 71].

Who conduct president of India election?

Election Commission of India has been vested with the power to conduct election to the office of president. It is the duty of Election Commission to conduct election to the office of president before the expiry of his term.

Criminal Cases against the president of India

(a)No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or constituted against the president, in any court during his term of office.

(b) No process of arrest or imprisonment of the president shall be issued from any court during his term of office.

(c) No criminal proceeding whatsoever shall be instituted or constituted against the president , in any court during his term in office.

(d) No civil proceeding in which relief is claimed against the president, shall be instituted during his term of office in any court in respect of any act done or purporting to be done by him in his personal capacity , whether before or after he entred upon his office as president, until the expiration of two months from the date on which a notice has been served to the president in this regard.

How President of India is elected?

President of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of all the states and Union Territories.

How many people has served as the president of India?

Shri Ram Nath Kovind is the 14th person to serve as the president of Republic of India.

Where does President of India lives?

The office and resident of the President of India are located in New Delhi and known as Rashtrapati Bhavan.