Laxmikanth Summary: President UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Articles 52 to 78 in Part of the Constitution deal with the Union executive. The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the council of ministers, and the attorney general of India. The President is the head of the Indian State. He is the first citizen of India and acts as the symbol of unity, integrity, and solidarity of the nation.
Laxmikanth Summary: President UPSC Notes | EduRevList of Presidents of India

Election of the President

The President is elected not directly by the people but by members of the electoral college consisting of:

(i) The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament.
(ii) The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states.

(iii) The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.Laxmikanth Summary: President UPSC Notes | EduRev

Thus, the nominated members of both Houses of Parliament, the nominated members of the state legislative assemblies, the members (both elected and nominated) of the state legislative councils (in case of the bicameral legislature) and the nominated members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the election of the President.

Where an assembly is dissolved, the members cease to be qualified to vote in the presidential election. To achieve this, the number of votes which each elected member of the legislative assembly of each state and the Parliament is entitled to cast at such election shall be determined in the following manner: 

  • The President's election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.
  • All doubts and disputes in connection with the election of the President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.

Constitution makers chose the indirect election due to the following reasons:

(i) Under this system, the President is only a nominal executive and the real powers are vested in the council of ministers headed by the prime minister.

(ii) The direct election of the President would have been very costly and time and energy-consuming due to the vast size of the electorate.

Value of the vote of an MLA = (Total population of state / Total number of elected members in the state legislative assembly) * (1 / 1000)
Value of the vote of an MP = (Total value of votes of all MLAs of all states / Total number of elected members of parliament)
Electoral quota = [Total number of valid votes polled / (1 + 1 = 2) ] + 1

Laxmikanth Summary: President UPSC Notes | EduRev

Qualifications, Oath and Conditions

Qualifications for election as President, a person to be eligible for election as President should fulfill the following qualifications:
(i) He should be a citizen of India.
(ii) He should have completed 35 years of age.
(iii) He should be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha.
(iv) He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government.

President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders. Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.

Oath or Affirmation by the President
Before entering upon his office, the President has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation. In his oath, the President swears:
(i) To faithfully execute the office.
(ii) To preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the law.
(iii) To devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of India. The oath of office to the President is administered by the Chief Justice of India and in his absence, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court available.

Conditions of President’s Office
The Constitution lays down the following conditions of the President’s office:

(i) He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature.

(ii) He should not hold any other office of profit.
(iii) He is entitled, without payment of rent, to the use of his official residence (the Rastrapathi Bhavan).
(iv) He is entitled to such emoluments, allowances, and privileges as may be determined by Parliament.
(v) His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his term of office.

Term, Impeachment and Vacancy

The President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

The impeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament. These charges should be signed by one-fourth of members of the House (that framed the charges), and a 14 days notice should be given to the President. After the impeachment resolution is passed by a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of that House, it is sent to the other House, which should investigate the charges. The President has the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. If the other House also sustains the charges and passes the impeachment resolution by a majority of two-thirds of the total membership, then the President stands removed from his office from the date on which the resolution is so passed.

Powers and Functions of the PresidentLaxmikanth Summary: President UPSC Notes | EduRev

1. Executive Powers 
The executive powers and functions of the President are:

  • All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name.
  • He can make rules for the more convenient transaction of business of the Union government, and for allocation of the said business among the ministers.
  • He appoints the prime minister, attorney general of India, comptroller and auditor general of India, the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the governors of states, the chairman and members of the finance commission, and so on.
  • 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 it has not been considered by the council.
  • He can appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of SCs, STs, and other backward classes.
  • He can appoint an inter-state council to promote Center-state and interstate cooperation.
  • He directly administers the union territories through administrators appointed by him. He can declare any area as a scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas. 

2. Legislative Powers
The President is an integral part of the Parliament of India and enjoys the following legislative powers.

  • He can summon or prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha. He can also summon a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament.
  • He can send messages to the Houses of Parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise.
  • He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can also appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
  • He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, and social service. He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community.
  • He decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament, in consultation with the Election Commission.
  • His prior recommendation or permission is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament.
  • He can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in session. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.

3. Financial Powers 
The financial powers and functions of the President are:

  • Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior recommendation.
  • 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.
  • He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenues between the Centre and the states. 

4. Judicial Powers 
The judicial powers and functions of the President are:

  • He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.
  • He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact.
  • He can grant pardon, reprieve, respite, and remission of punishment, or suspend, remit, or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.

5. Diplomatic Powers
The international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President. However, they are subject to the approval of the Parliament.

6. Military Powers
He is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India. In that capacity, he appoints the chiefs of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. He can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament. 

7. Emergency Powers
President to deal with the following three types of emergencies:

  • National Emergency (Article 352)
  • President's Rule (Article 356 & 365)
  • Financial Emergency (Article 360) 

8. Veto Power
A bill passed by the Parliament can become an act only if it receives the assent of the President. When such a bill is presented to the President for his assent, he has three alternatives (under Article 111 of the Constitution):

  • He may give his assent to the bill.
  • He may withhold his assent to the bill.
  • He may return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament. 

9. Ordinance - Making Power
Article 123 of the Constitution empowers the President to promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament. These ordinances have the same force and effect as an act of Parliament.

10. Pardoning Power
Article 72 of the Constitution empowers the President to grant pardons to persons who have been tried and convicted of any offence in all cases where the:

  • Punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union Law.
  • Punishment or sentence is by a court martial (military court).
  • Sentence is a sentence of death.

The pardoning power of the President includes the following:
(i) Pardon: It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments, and disqualifications.
(ii) Commutation: It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form.

Example: A death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment.

(iii) Remission: It implies reducing the period of a sentence without changing its character.

Example: A sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year.

(iv) Respite: It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, such as the physical disability of a convict or the pregnancy of a woman offender.
(v) Reprieve: It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. Its purpose is to enable the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President

Under Article 161 of the Constitution, the governor of a state also possesses the pardoning power. Hence, the governor can also grant pardons, reprieves, respites, and remissions of punishment or suspend, remit, and commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against state law.
But, the pardoning power of the governor differs from that of the President in the following two respects:

  • The President can pardon sentences inflicted by court-martial (military courts) while the governor cannot.
  • The President can pardon the death sentence while the governor cannot.

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