Role and Power of Indias President
Role and Power of Indias President
India has been under presidential ship with many reputed personalities since 1950, and now we are at our 14th President, Ram Nath Kovind The President being the country’s head and first citizen of the nation, under the various provisions of the Indian Constitution, a set of broad ranging powers and privileges are granted.
In India, the Constitution establishes a parliamentary form of government as distinguished from the American Presidential type of government is that the head of the state is the constitutional head and the real executive powers are vested in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Prime Ministers. The Council of Minister is responsible to the House of the People. Though the executive power is vested in the president but the exercise this power with the Aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The Members of the Council of Ministers are all elected by the people and they are member of the legislature .
The President of India
There shall be a president of India (Article – 52) Chapter – 1 Part – V of the Constitution of India starts with the proviso. He is the Head of the State. The executive Power of the Union, shall be Vested in the President and it shall be exercised by him in accordance with the constitution wither directly and through officer’s subordinate to him (Article-53). The supreme command of the Union defence service shall also be granted to the President.
Generally speaking, the executive power applies and relates to the topics in relation to which the Parliament has the jurisdiction to make legislation. It should be remembered that all executive authority must be exercised, in particular under Article 14, in compliance with the Constitution. Generally executive power is the residue of functions of Government, which are not legislative or judicial. The power as conferred on the President under Article 72 of the constitution is that of to grant pardons, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.
Do we need of the President of India?
The concept of presidency derives from the British concept of monarchy, where the monarch is the nation’s figurehead with little or no real powers. In a constitutional republic like India, where the powers of the state are separated between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, the system is really helpful. The Head of State can act as a father figure many times, particularly when there are conflicts between two or more arms. The system is highly productive to fill up the vacuums in a Representative Democracy like India where the Westminster System of Government is followed; it can also creap up at times. One of the very few times where the President can act independently of the Cabinet’s recommendations is the appointment of the Prime Minister when no party enjoys an absolute majority in Parliament. Here, in those cases, if the Office of the President does not exist with the requisite executive powers, the certain result will be absolute confusion and disorder.
Constitutional Position of The President
Thus, large and far-reaching powers have been granted to the President of India, which he enjoys both during normal and emergency periods but the 42nd (1976) and 44th (1978) Amendment Bills were enacted after the passing of the Constitution. A constitutional figurehead, and nothing after that, has been the President of our Republic.
One of the greatest powers and dignity, but at the same time strictly constitutional, is the president today. Thus, in every event, the President is required to act on the advice of his prime minister and of other ministers who are accountable to the Lok Sabha and responsive to public opinion.
In short, in the ministry and Parliament, and not in the President as well, the powers really reside. In our Parliament’s form of government, he has no discretion. Through various decisions, the supreme court has affirmed the position that the president is a constitutional head and, as such, during emergencies, he is as much bound by the advice of his ministers as during usual times.
For eg, only after receiving a written notice of the resolution of the Union Cabinet can the President declare a proclamation of Article 352 of the national emergency. If the president abuses his powers, an impeachment process will remove him from office
It does not mean, however, that a magnificent cipher or a mere rubber stamp is the President of India. The President of our Country is an elected head of state, unlike the British monarchy, which is hereditary. There are some grey fields of coalition politics where the president will also have to use his own judgment and wisdom. These are –
• Appointment of Prime Minister
• Dismissal of the Union Ministry
• Dissolution of the Lok Sabha and
• Seeking Information on all matters of administration and legislative from the prime minister etc .
The position of the president can become the most important and definitive in some such circumstances. The President has, however, to be free of any political affiliations. With complete constitutional rectitude and impartiality, he is supposed to behave. It is expected that his wise leadership and constructive role would help the country.
In short, the President of India is the national unity sign, the loyalty magnet and the ceremony apparatus.
Role of President in India
The President of India has to fulfil some fixed duties for the nation’s wellbeing. The President are presented with these responsibilities to safeguard and ensure the Indian constitution.
The President is expected to appoint the Prime Minister and other Ministers of India in accordance with Articles 75 and 76. He also has to appoint Attorney General of India.
Maintaining the dignity of the Constitution of India is the basic responsibility of the President. In the Constitution of India, including the three-armed Powers, she/he deserves to be the common head of all individual entities.
Powers of President of India
In view of the aforementioned discussions, we shall now address in depth the powers and roles of the President of India. The power and functions of the President of India can be grouped under five heads, i.e., financial, judicial, emergency, executive and legislative.
All executive powers and function of the president are:
1. All executive actions of the government of India are formally taken his name.
2. He can make rules specifying the manner in which the order sand other instruments made and executed in his name shall be authenticated.
3. He can make rules for more convenient transaction business of Union government, and for allocations of the said business among the ministers.
4. He appoints the attorney general of India and determines his remunerations. The attorney general holds office during the pleasure of the President.
5. He appoints the prime minister and other ministers. They hold office during his pleasure.
6. He appoints the Comptroller and auditor general of India, the chief Election Commissioner, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the governor of states, the chairman and members of the finance commission and so on.
7. He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union, and proposals for legislation from the Prime Minister.
8. He can require the Prime Minister 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.
9. He can appoint commission to investigation into the conditions of SCs, STs and other backward classes.
10. He can appoint an inter-state council to promote centre state relation and interstate relation cooperation
11. He directly administers the union territories through administrations by him.
12. He can declare any area as scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of schedule areas and tribal areas.
The president of India is an integral part of the Parliament of India and Enjoys the following legislative Powers.
1. He can summon and Prorogue the parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha. He can also a summon a joint Session of both the houses of Parliament which is presided over by the speaker of Lok Sabha. Article-85 (1).
2. He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year.
3. He can send messages to the houses of Parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise. (Article – 86)
4. He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the speaker and deputy speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can also appoint any members of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the chairman and the deputy Chairman fall Vacant.
5. He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service. [Article – 80 (3)] 6. He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community. (Article – 331)
7. He decides on questions as to disqualification of members of the Parliament in consultation with the Election Commission.
8. His prior recommendations or permissions is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament. For example – A bill involving expenditure from the consolidated Fund of India, or a Bill For the alterations of boundaries of states or creation of a new state.
9. When the bill is sent to the President after it has been passed by the Parliament he can:
• Give assent to the bill
• Withhold his assent to the Bill, or
• Return the bill (if it is not money bill) for reconsideration of the parliament.
However, if the bill is passed again by the parliament with or without amendment, the president has to give his assent to the bill
10. When a bill is passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the President, the President can-
• Give assent to the bill
• Withhold his assent to the Bill, or
• Direct the governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. It should be noted here that it is not obligatory for the president to give his assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again for his consideration.
11. He can Promulgate Ordinance when the parliament is not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an Ordinances at any time. (Article – 123)
12. He lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, Finance Commission, and other before the Parliament.
13. He can make regulations for the peace progress and good governments of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lakshadweep, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Ladakh. In the case of Puducherry also, the president can legislate by making legislations but only when the assembly is suspended and dissolved.
The President is the supreme commander of the defence forces of the country. He has powers to declare war and Peace. However, the exercise of these powers by the president is “regulated by Law”. The Parliament is empowered to regulate or control the exercise of the military powers by the President. The military power of the President is thus subordinate to his executive powers which is exercised by him on the advice of the cabinet.
As the Head of the State, the President sends and receives Ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives. All treaties and International agreements are negotiated and concluded in the name of the President though subject to ratification by Parliament.
1. He appoints chief justice and the Judges of Supreme Court and High Court
2. He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact. However, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court is not binding on the President.
3. He can grant pardon reprieve, respite and remission of punishment or suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence:
• In all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial;
• In all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against a union law; and
• In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
India’s President also exercises financial powers. Without the recommendation of the President, no money bill may be passed in parliament.
The Annual Financial Statement is put by the President before both the Houses of Parliament under the Constitution of India. This Announcement describes the Central Government’s revenue and spending estimates for the coming year. It can be pointed out that without the consent of the President, proposals for taxation and expenditure cannot be made.
The Constitution envisages three sorts of emergencies. Under national emergency powers, after satisfying that the safety of the country is at risk, either from external aggression or armed rebellion within, the President can proclaim a state emergency. The national emergency will be declared only after it has been recommended in writing by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
The State emergency is basically a constitutional emergency, resulting in the rule of the President or the rule of the Governor, whether there is a breakdown of the Government or law and order under Article 356 of the Constitution
A financial emergency happens as it seriously threatens the financial security of the government or some part of the country. A state government can be directed by the President to observe prudence in public expenditures. Never in the past six decades have the President’s financial emergency powers been put to the test .
D.C Wadhwa V. State of Bihar
In this case, the state of Bihar had passed 256 ordinances in the duration of fourteen years. The ordinances continued to be in force ranging from one to fourteen years, thereby violating the constitutional mandate of lapse of an ordinance. The governor assumed the powers of the legislature under Article – 123, this was mainly in questions.
It was held that the government cannot do indirectly what can’t do directly. The governor’s power under Article – 213 cannot be treated as substitute of legislative functions. His powers cannot be used to re-promulgate same ordinances successively without bringing it before the legislature. Primary law-making authority is vested with the legislature and usurping that power would violate the basic principles of constitutionalism and would subvert the democratic process. There should be no license raj in the country.
Kuljeet singh v. Lt. Governor of Delhi
This case is also called as the case of Ranga, Billa. It was held that the pardoning power of the president is a discretionary power and he may not assign reasons while exercising this power (either on granting a pardon or rejecting it).
Kehar Singh V. Union of India
The Court held that the pardoning power is an act of grace and not a matter of right. It is administrative powers and not justiciable in the Court of law.
S.R Bommai V. Union of India
The Supreme Court Held that the ordinance making power of the president is justiciable and subject to judicial review on the ground of mala fide.
Therefore, one of the most important organs of Indian democracy is the Union Executive. It forms the soul of our administrative system in India. The executive of the Union acts as a powerful pull for all branches of the administrative and executive bodies. All the provisions needed to form a strong and responsible executive system for our nation have been assembled by the Constitution-makers. Thus, coordinating with the executive for the better functioning of our Indian democratic system is important for the citizens as well.
1. Pandey Dr. J.N (Constitutional Law of India) Allahabad Central Law Agency 2019 56th edn Pg. No – 509.
6. D.C Wadhwa V. State of Bihar [1987 AIR 579].
7. Kuljeet singh v. Lt. Governor of Delhi [AIR 1981 SC 2339].
8. Kehar Singh V. Union of India [1989 (1) SCC 204] 9. S.R Bommai V. Union of India [AIR 1994 SC 1918].