dmpq-Discuss the important constitutional and political situations where president of India can practice discretionary powers.

The discretionary powers of the Indian president are not explicitly mentioned in the Indian constitution. But cases, where the Indian President do not act on the advice of CoM, can be understood if one carefully read the provisions related to the Indian President.

Suspensive Veto

The President has discretionary power when he exercises suspensive veto ie. when he returns a bill (not money bill) for reconsideration of the parliament.  However if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and presented again to the President, it is obligatory for him to give his assent to the bill.

Pocket Veto

This is not a provision mentioned in the Indian constitution, but this is a possible situation when the President of India can use his discretionary power. In this case, the President neither ratifies nor reject nor return the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period.

President can seek information from Prime Minister

Under article 78 the President enjoys the right to seek information from the PM regarding the administration of the affairs of the union. Under the established convention, the President has the right to warn or encourage the Council of Minister (CoM) in the exercise of its power.

Case of no sitting of both houses

Under Article 85, the President can summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, to ensure that six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its sitting in the next session.   Case of no majority

When no political party or coalition of parties enjoy the majority in Lok Sabha, then the President has discretion in inviting the leader of that party or coalition of parties who in his opinion is able to form a stable government.

Case of a caretaker government

A caretaker government does not enjoy the confidence of Lok Sabha and hence it is not expected to take major decisions but only to make the day-to-day administrative decisions. It is for the President to decide the day-to-day decisions.


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