Veto Power of President - Types of Veto in India

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : September 6th, 2022

Veto Power is the most important power given to the President when considering the parliament bills. The President can use the Veto power to reject any bill approved by the parliament in both houses or another law-making body. If any bill has to become law or act, then it has to be passed by both houses along with the approval of the President. This right of the Indian President to approve a bill or return it, or withhold their approval on the bill is known as the Veto Power.

The President's veto power refers to this decision the President makes regarding the bill's passage. UPSC aspirants should have detailed knowledge about veto power meaning, types and qualified and suspensive veto.

Table of Content

What is Veto Power of President?

According to Article 111, the President of India has three veto powers that he can exercise during the bill approval. To become law or act, the bill should be passed by the parliament in both houses and have the President's approval; if due, for any reason, the President refuses to sign the bill, then it is not eligible to become law or act.

  • Absolute Veto Power
  • Suspension Veto Power
  • Pocket Veto Power

Objectives behind the Veto Power of President of India

  • To prevent the legislation from being hasty and ill-considered legislation.
  • To prevent legislation that is not in the spirit of the constitution of India.

Absolute Veto

President exercises absolute power when any bill is presented to him after getting approved by the parliament and refuses to approve or reject it. Therefore, it will not lead the bill to become law or act.

Cases in which absolute veto power was used:

  1. When the parliament passed the private member bill.
  2. If the cabinet resigns before getting approval from the President, the bill gets rejected because the new cabinet will not demand to pass the bill left by the old cabinet.
  3. India used its veto power earlier. For example, Dr Rajendra Prasad used it in 1954, and K Venkatraman used it in1991.

Suspension Veto Power

Under this veto power of the President of India, the President sends back the bill to the parliament for reconsideration. Still, if the parliament repeatedly proposes the same bill to the President without making any amendment, the President will have to pass that bill.

This advantage is not given to the state legislature where, if state legislation represents the bill with or without amendment, the President can again withhold its approval or refuse to approve the bill.

President follows only an ordinary majority, not a higher majority while considering the bill. President suspension veto power cannot be used on the money bill.

Pocket Veto

  • In this veto power, the President can withhold the bill presented to him by the parliament for an infinite time without telling reason or rejecting it, If he does not want to act upon the bill.
  • But the US president does not have such an option; they must return the bill within10 days to the parliament. So unlimited time benefits are only for the Indian President.
  • The pocket veto power has also been used in the past.
  • Giani zail Singh used it in 1986
  • The President cannot use this power regarding the constitutional amendment bill. This bill cannot be withheld from the President for any reason; the President has acted upon it quickly.

Veto Power Article - Constitutional Provision

Under Article 111, veto power article, power is provided to the President regarding approving a bill when the parliament has passed it. President has three choices related to the bill

  • President can accept the bill
  • President can withhold the bill
  • President can return the bill
  • And if parliament sends the bill again, the President has to accept the bill.

Suspensive Veto Power as per Article 111: If the President thinks parliament is violating the constitutional law by making a bill, he can return the bill for reconsideration to parliament. The President cannot refuse to accept and approve the bill if it is of the constitutional amendment.

Pocket Veto Power: As per the pocket veto power meaning, the President can withhold the bill presented to him for an infinite time, which means the President can keep the bill with him as long as it won't if he does not want to act upon it.

Role of Veto Power over State Legislation

Bill framed by state legislation can only become an act if the President passes it with the majority of the parliament.

Article 200 & 201 gives the power to the governor to reserve the bill to get the President's approval.

Although the President can withhold the bill, accept it or send it for reconsideration, and if the parliament sends it again, the President has to accept the bill. But in the cases of state legislation, the president is not bound to approve even if they send the bill again to the President.

According to article 200, the President has four choices in all

  • To approve the bill
  • To withhold the bill
  • To return the bill for reconsideration
  • To reject the bill altogether.

Veto Power of the Governor

  • The governor can only reserve the bill if it derogates and endangers the high court's position; it means the governor can keep the bill with himself if it derogates the high court's position.
  • Governors can reserve the bill to get approval from the President, and in many bills like the property bill, bills related to tax impositions and some others.
  • Once the President reserves the bill, the governor has no role in it.
  • Any bill sent by the state legislature to the President for approval, and if he returns the bill, and if the state again sends the bill, Then the President can again send it back to the state, withhold it, or reject it. So it shows that states do not have the power to override the president's veto power.

Applications of Veto Power

President can use the veto power for approval in a different bill:

Type of Bill

Veto Application

Ordinary Bill

President has three choices

- He can accept it

- He can withhold it

- He can return the bill

Money Bill

The President has the following choices

- He can accept it

- He can keep it pending

- He can not return the bill; This bill cannot be returned for reconsideration.

Constitutional Amendment Bill

President must accept it

Qualified Veto

  1. Difference between the power of India & American President
  2. The President of the US has more veto power than the President of India, whereas India's President has only three. The US president has four veto powers; the President of the US has qualified veto power as the fourth power.

What is a Qualified Veto Power?

  • In these cases, if the President sends back the bill to the parliament for reconsideration, then the parliament sends it back to the President with the special majority to override the President's veto power.
  • The Indian President does not have any time limit within which they have to return the bill, but the President of the US has to return it within ten days after the parliament presents it.

Recent Use Of Veto Power By The President

Use of Absolute power

  • It was used by Rajendra Prasad in 1954; he withheld the consent for the PEPSU appropriation bill, although the parliament passed the bill but revoked presidential approval.
  • R Venkataraman withholds the sales allowance and pension of a member of the parliament bill.

Use of Pocket veto

  • This veto power is used by president Zail Singh, who exercises the power to withhold the bill because the bill has caused so much criticism as it violates the right to freedom & speech of the press.
  • Gyani Zail did not take any action on the Indian post office amendment bill and withheld the bill with him for so long.

Use of Suspensive Veto Power

  • Suspension veto power is the power in which the President sends the bill back to the parliament for reconsideration. If parliament sends the bill again, then they have to approve it.
  • While K Venkatraman used suspensive veto power in 1989 to send the India post office bill back for reconsideration, the national front government dropped the bill.
  • The speaker of Tamil Nadu has asked for the time frame within which the President should return the bill for reconsideration, which the governors reserved.
  • Sometimes the governor reserved the bill for a very long paper period rather than passing it to the President; unlike in a constitutional provision, the governor should return them within a particular time frame limit.
  • Governor is also taking months to reserve the bill for the President, although they need to send it immediately to the President.
  • It affects the authority of legislation and the governors given by the union government.

Veto Power UPSC

Veto Power of President is an important UPSC topic in the polity syllabus for UPSC. Questions from the said topic can be asked in UPSC Prelims and Mains exam. To ensure that the topic is comprehensively covered, refer to the Polity Books for UPSC or NCERT Books for UPSC.

Candidates can also download the UPSC Question Paper to practice and revise the topic.

Veto Power UPSC Prelims Sample Question

Question: The Veto Power of the President of India comprises of the following?

  1. Pocket veto.
  2. Qualified veto.
  3. Absolute veto.
  4. Suspensive veto.

Choose the correct answer.

  1. A, C and D are correct.
  2. A and B are correct.
  3. B, C and D are correct.
  4. Only A is correct.

Answer: A

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Kigali AmendmentRight to Equality
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan YojanaImportant Articles of Indian Constitution
Watershed Management in IndiaIndian Defence Estate Service
PM Cares FundIPCC Report

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FAQs on Veto Power of President of India

  • In India, three types of veto power are provided to the President of India: Absolute, suspension, and pocket.

    Absolute veto power, where the President rejects the bill passed by the parliament

    Suspension: Under this power, the President has the power to return the bill for reconsideration if he finds it violates constitutional rights.

    Pocket: Under this power, the President can withhold the bill without acting upon it.

    1. The President uses absolute power in two cases.
    2. If the bill is passed in the parliament as the private member bill, and the cabinet has some reservations over it, then it may be advised to the President not to act on it.
    3. If the cabinet resigns before the President approves the bill, then the bill gets rejected because the new cabinet will not ask to pass the bill.
  • According to article 74, the President can exercise this power with the advice of a cabinet minister headed by the prime minister. He can use this power as discretionary in some cases. The President can only enjoy this power with the advice of the cabinet.

  • A pocket veto is used in the cases when the President does not want to act on the bill given by parliament, so they withhold the bill.

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