The President of India in the Indian Constitution
- There shall be a President of India as per Article 52; President of India is the executive head of the Union of India.
- President of India is also the Supreme Commander of the Defense Forces.
- Office of the President of India is Rashtrapati Bhavan
Qualifications to become the President (Article 58)
A Candidate for the office of the President should have the following qualifications-
- He should be an Indian citizen.
- He should not be less than 35 years of age.
- He should have qualifications for elections as a member of the House of the people.
- He should not be holding any office of profit under any government for local body.
- He should not be a member of Parliament or any State Legislature. A government servant or a servant of a local authority is, however, ineligible for election as President.
Election of the President (Article 54, 55)
- The election of the President is made by secret ballot in accordance with the system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote i.e., by indirect direction.
The President is thus elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of:-
(a) The elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament, and
(b) Elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the States. (Elected members of the Legislative Council, however, do not constitute the Electoral College for election of the President of India.)
Note: The Chief Minister of a State of India is NOT eligible to vote in the Presidential election if he is a member of Upper House of the State Legislature).
- Elected for five years but is eligible for immediate re-election and can serve any number of terms.
- Emoluments: 150000
Oath of office
- The oath of office by the President of India is conducted by the Chief Justice of India.
The President can be removed from office if he goes against the Constitution
When he does that, not less than one-fourth of the total membership of both the Houses of Parliament can give 14 days’ notice that they propose bringing a motion of “impeachment” (Article 61) against the President. He may be removed from office for violation of the Constitution by impeachment (Article 61).
- The motion can be introduced in either House i.e., in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha.
- If a two-thirds majority of the total membership of the Parliament votes that the charges against the President stand proved.
Powers of the President with respect to Parliament
- The President can summon, prorogue, address and send messages to the two Houses of Parliament.
- He gives assent to bills passed by the Parliament.
- He can issue ordinances when Parliament is not in session.
- He can declare a state of emergency arising due to war, external aggression, internal disturbances, and failure of constitutional machinery in any State or threat to the financial stability or credit of India. Indian Parliament can invade the State List if-
(a) a subject in the State List assumes national importance, and
(b) a proclamation of emergency has been issued by the President of India.
(i) Executive and Administrative Powers
- He appoints the senior officials of the state including the Prime Minister.
- All Union Territories are under the President of India.
(ii) Legislative Powers
- Appoints 12 members to the Rajya Sabha and two Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha.
- Dissolves the House of People.
- Assents or withholds his assent to any Bill passed by the Parliament; Issues ordinances.
(iii) Financial Powers
- Causes the budget to be laid before the Parliament; (Article 112)
- Sanctions introduction of money bills
- Apportions revenue between the Centre and the States.
(iv) Judicial Powers
- He appoints the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court and Zonal High Courts.
- He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of Law of fact (Article 143).
- Empowered to grant pardons, reprieve, remit the sentences, or suspend, remit or commute punishments.
(v) Emergency Powers
(a) National Emergency
- Article 352 empowers the President to proclaim an emergency and take under his direct charge the administration of any State.
- The President cannot be questioned by any court for the action taken by him in the discharge of his duties. No criminal proceedings can be launched against him.
(b) State Emergency (Article 356)
- It can be proclaimed by the President on the failure of Constitutional machinery in the State.
- The Proclamation of the President’s rule should be approved by the Parliament within two months.
- If approved, it remains in force for six months from the date of Proclamation of the State Emergency.
- It can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament every six months.
(c) Financial Emergency
- Under article 360 if he is satisfied that the financial stability or credit of India or any part thereof is threatened.
- Approved by the Parliament within two months.