President Assent

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 24, 2022, 7:28

The ultimate law-making authority in India is the Parliament. A bill will only become a law if it is agreed upon by the both Houses of Parliament and gains the President's Assent.

Once it gets passed by both Houses of Parliament, it is forwarded to the President, and the President will declare if he assents or withholds the bill.

What is a Bill?

A bill is a new law proposal or a draft of a legislative proposal to change the existing law. A bill is presented for debate before Parliament. It can be introduced in any House for examination, discussion, and changes. The government, private individuals or organizations and Individual MPs can introduce different bills.

There are various types of bills - Financial Bill, Ordinary Bill, Ordinance Replacing Bill, etc.

What are the stages involved before the bill becomes law?

The Constitution of India cites various exceptional circumstances under which a state bill should get the consent of the President for becoming law. The stages involved in making the bill a law are as follows:

  • The first stage is the proposal of the bill, where the presenter keeps his idea of a new law or changes the existing one in front of both houses of Parliament.
  • Reading of Bill means explaining your idea and pointers about the changes or addition to the law.
  • Scrutinizing the points proposed in the bill, both houses keep their points about the law. In this stage, the presenter gets positive and negative views about the law.
  • Now is the time for voting; both houses vote for the proposal.
  • If it gets more than 50% of the votes, it is sent for President's Assent.

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Bill and the President's Assent

There are three actions that a President can usually take when the bill is sent:

  • Grant consent - this implies that the bill is authorized and will become law.
  • Withhold AssentAssent - which signifies that the President ends the bill and it will not become a law.
  • Return the bill for reconsideration - the Houses are asked to make changes and reconsider the bill; later, it is sent to the President for Assent again.
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Types of Bills in India and President Assent

  • Ordinary Bills - As mentioned above, the President can grant consent, withhold Assent, or return the bill for reconsideration.
  • Money Bills - The President can either give Assent or return the money bill. However, it cannot be returned to the House for reconsideration.
  • Constitutional Amendment Bill - The President should give permission - cannot withhold or return it to the House for reconsideration.

The President has veto power, which means that he has the power to accept or reject the bill. The President's Assent to a bill is necessary to change a bill into law.

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FAQs on President Assent

Q1. Can the President only provide Assent to Bill, or can he reject them?

Yes, the President can reject a bill; it is called an absolute veto. This is when the President withholds the Assent to Bill.

Q2. What are the veto powers given to the President to give Assent to bills?

There are three types of veto powers with the President of India to give Assent to bills:

  • Absolute Veto
  • Pocket Veto
  • Suspensive Veto.

Q3. Before passing the bill for the President's Assent, what legal step should be taken?

Before passing the bill for the President's Assent, it is essential to pass it to the Chief Executive for getting the final stamp of legality.

Q4. What does pocket veto mean with regard to Assent to bills?

Pocket veto concerning the Assent to bills means the President exercises his will to negate a bill based on his understanding.