President Powers in India

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President Powers in India : : President of India | President Emergency Powers | President Impeachment

President Executive Powers

  • Appoints PM, ministers, Chief Justice & judges of Supreme Court & High Courts, chairman & members of UPSC, Comptroller and Auditor General, Attorney General, Chief Election Commissioner and other members of Election Commission, Governors, Members of Finance Commission, Ambassadors, etc.
  • He directly administers the Union Territories through the Lt.Governor, Commissioner or Administrator.

President Legislative Powers

  • Can summon & prorogue the sessions of the 2 houses & can dissolve Lok Sabha.
  • Can address both the houses jointly / separately.
  • Addresses the first session after general elections and at the commencement of the first session of each year.
  • Can send messages to both the Houses, whether with respect to a Bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise.
  • Can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when both the offices of Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant simultaneously ( Same way in Rajya Sabha also ).
  • Nominates 12 members to Rajya Sabha.
  • Nominates 2 members of Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha if they haven’t received adequate representation.
  • Decides on the questions as to the qualifications of the MPs, in consultation with the Election Commission.
  • His prior recommendation or permission is needed to introduce certain types of Bills in the Parliament. E.g. a Bill for the formation of new States or alteration of boundaries of a State, a Money Bill, etc.
  • When a Bill is sent to the President after it has been passed by the Parliament, he can :
    • Give his assent to the Bill ( or )
    • Withhold his assent to the Bill ( or )
    • Return the Bill ( if it is not a Money Bill or a Constitutional Amendment Bill ) for reconsideration of the Parliament, although only once.
  • President has the power to veto with respect to the Bills passed by the Parliament.
  • He enjoys three types of veto powers to the following :
    • Absolute Veto : Withholding the assent to the Bill. Normally, it is exercised only in the case of private members Bill. In the case of a Government Bill, a situation may however be imagined where, after the passage of a Bill and before it is assented to by the President, the ministry resigns and new council of ministers advices the President to use his veto power against the Bill.
    • Suspense Veto : It is exercised when instead of refusing his assent out rightly to a Bill, the President returns the Bill or part of it for the reconsideration and the Parliament makes it obligatory on him to give his assent to it. In this case, the veto power is merely of suspensive nature.
    • Pocket Veto : Since the Constitution does not provide any time limit within which the President is to declare his assent or refusal, the President could exercise this veto by not taking any action for an indefinite time; but if the ministry has a strong backing in Parliament, it would not be possible for him to do so.
  • Pocket Veto was used in 1986 by the then President Giani Zail Singh in the Postal Bill.
  • Can enact laws through ordinance when the Parliament is in recess ( Article 123 ).
  • These ordinances must be passed by Parliament within 6 weeks of reassembly.
  • Lays the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General, UPSC, the Finance Commission and others, before the Parliament.

President Financial Powers

  • All money bills can originate in Parliament only on recommendation of President.
  • No Demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
  • He can make advances out of the Contingency Fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
    Appoints Finance Commission ( after every 5 yrs ) that recommends distribution of taxes between Union & State Govts.

President Judicial Powers

  • The Presidents pardoning power comprises a group of analogous powers :
    Pardon : It rescinds both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the offender from all punishments and disqualifications.
  • Reprieve : It means a stay of execution of sentence pending a proceeding for pardon or commutation.
  • Remission : The power of remission reduces the amount of sentence without changing its character. E.g. a sentence of imprisonment for one year may be remitted for six months.
  • Respite : The power to grant respite means awarding a lesser sentence instead of the prescribed penalty in view of some special facts. E.g. pregnancy of the woman offender.
  • Commutation : It merely substitutes one form of the punishment for another of a lighter character – death by transportation, transportation by rigorous imprisonment, rigorous imprisonment by simple imprisonment and simple imprisonment by fine and so on.
  • Appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

President Military Powers

  • He is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces of India.
  • Appoints Chiefs of Army, Navy & Air Force.
  • Declares wars & concludes peace subject to the approval of the Parliament.

President Diplomatic Powers

  • Represents country in international forums.
  • Sends ambassadors & receives diplomats.
  • International treaties & agreements are concluded on his behalf.
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