Powers and functions of President

The Union executive consists of the President, the Prime minister and the Council of ministers.

Powers and functions of The President 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. Article 52 of our constitution provides for a President of India .

Article53 (1) says that the executive power of the union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either by directly or through officers subordinate to him in the constitution.

Article 53(2) declares the President as the supreme commander of the defence forces and exercise of his power would be regulated by law.

Executive Powers of President: The Constitution of India vests the executive powers of the Union in the President.

  • He/She appoints the Prime Minister, who is the leader of the majority party or group of parties having majority in the lower house, the Lok Sabha.
  • He/She also appoints other members of the Council of Ministers on the recommendations of the Prime Minister.
  • All executive actions of the Union must be expressed to be taken in the name of the President.
  • He/She also appoints Governors in the States, the Attorney General of India, the Comptroller and the Auditor General of India, the Ambassadors and High Commissioners as well as the Administrators of the Union Territories.
  • He/She also appoints the Chairman and Members of the Union Public Service Commission as well as the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
  • The President is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces and appoints the Chiefs of the three wings, Army, Airforce and Navy.

Legislative Powers of the President

  • President summons both the Houses of the Parliament for sessions.
  • President also prorogues the sessions.
  • President is also responsible for dissolving the Lok Sabha.
  • The first session of each year and the first session of newly elected Lok Sabha after the general elections begin with the address of the President.
  • President can nominate two members in the Lok Sabha belonging to the Anglo Indian community.
  • President has the power to send messages to the Parliament.
  • President can nominate 12 members to the Rajya Sabha.
  • President submits the reports of UPSC, Finance Commission etc. to the Parliament. the assent of the President. To introduce certain bills in the
  • No bill can become a law without Parliament, prior permission of the President is required. E.g. Money bills.
  • President possesses Veto power.
  • President has Ordinance making power under Article 123.

Financial Powers of The President

  • All money bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha only with the prior approval of the President.
  • The President has the control over Contingency Fund of India. It enables her to advance
    money for the purpose of meeting unforeseen expenses.
  • Annual budget and railway budget are introduced in the Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the President.
  •  The President appoints the Finance Commission after every five years. It makes recommendations to the President on some specific financial matters, especially the distribution of Central taxes between the Union and the States.
  • The President also receives the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, and has it laid in the Parliament.

Diplomatic Powers of The President:

  • The President has the power of appointing Indian Ambassadors to other countries
  • He receives ambassadors, High Commissions and diplomatic envoys from foreign Nations.
  • All treaties and international agreements are concluded in the name of the President.
  • The president represents India in International Conferences.

Judicial Powers of the President

  • The President, as head of state, can pardon a criminal or reduce the punishment or suspen cummute or remit the sentence of a criminal convicted by the Supreme Court or High Courts for an offence against the federal laws.
  • Presidents pardoning power comprises of Pardon, reprieve, remission, respite and commutation.
  • The President can pardon a person convicted by a Court Martial. His/her power of pardon includes granting of pardon even to a person awarded death sentence. But, the President performs this function on the advice of Law Ministry.
  • Advisory Jurisdiction under Article 143 also comes under judicial powers of the President.

Emergency Powers of the President:-

  • Article 352: Proclamation of Emergency – due to external intrusion or war the President of India can declare a state of emergency through a Proclamation. This Article suggests that such a Proclamation can be revoked or a varied Proclamation can also be issued. However, the decision of the Cabinet ministers to issue such a proclamation must be sent to the President in written form prior to his issuance of the same. According to the Article, all such Proclamations should be presented to both the Houses of the Parliament. The Proclamations, if not accepted by a resolution, will be counted as ineffective after one month. If the Proclamation is not accepted after the passing of a second resolution, then it will become ineffective after the expiry of 6 months of the second resolution. It is also mentioned in the Article that not less than two-thirds of the members of any of the Parliamentary Houses should be required to pass a resolution. There are certain rules specified in this Article regarding the President revoking or issuing a varied Proclamation during Emergency.
  • Article 353: Effect of Proclamation of Emergency – this Article states that the Proclamation of Emergency includes extending the executive power of the union to the states in the form of directions. The Parliament, as per this Article, can confer the power to make laws, upon the officers or authorities of the Union.
  •  Article 354: Application of provisions relating to distribution of revenues while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation – provisions made under Articles 268 to 279 can be modified or exceptions can be made by the President of India by an Order while the Proclamation period of emergency is going on. Information about all such Orders must be conveyed to both the Houses of Parliament.
  • Article 355: Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance – this Article states the fact that the Union or Center is solely responsible for defending the various states from all types of violence and aggressions erupting from outside and disturbances occurring within the nation’s territory.
  • Article 356: Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States – the President of India can take charge of a state if the reports submitted to him by the Governor suggest that the government of the state has become incapable of exercising the Constitutional powers. The President is also subjected to exercise the powers of the government of such state by Proclamation. The Proclamation issued under such circumstances become ineffective after 6 months from the date of issuance, if not revoked during this time period. All such Proclamations have to be presented to both the Houses of Indian Parliament and will expire after two months. The Legislative powers of such state shall also be exercised by the Parliament. In the Houses of Parliament there are certain rules and regulations regarding the expiry of the Proclamation and the time period normally depends upon the fact whether it has been revoked earlier or not.
  • Article 357: Exercise of legislative powers under Proclamation issued under article 356 – the powers of the Legislature shall be exercised by the Parliament during emergency. The Parliament has the right to delegate Legislative powers to the President of India or any such authority. The President of India, after the Proclamation of Article 356, can make laws and shall have access to the consolidated fund during the time period when the House of the People is not in operation.
  • Article 358: Suspension of provisions of article 19 during emergencies – any provision under Article 19 will not be effective during emergency and the states can make law and undertake executive action. However, only those laws and executive actions containing recital related to emergency during the Proclamation of Emergency are effective as per the Article.
  • Article 359: Suspension of the enforcement of the rights conferred by Part III during emergencies – the President of India can suspend all ongoing proceedings in any court of the nation during emergencies by an Order. The President can also call upon all pending court proceedings in case of emergencies. All such orders declaring the suspension of court proceedings have to be submitted to both the Houses of Parliament.
  • Article 360: Provisions as to financial emergency – a declaration shall be made by the President of India through a Proclamation regarding the financial crisis of the nation if such situation arises. Such a Proclamation can be revoked and has to be presented in both the Houses of the Parliament. The Proclamation thus issued will become null and void after two months if the same is not approved through a resolution passed by the Houses of Parliament. In case the Houses are not in session the Article suggests certain specific guidelines regarding the Proclamation. This Article also includes provisions relating to the salary and allowance reduction of those who are employed with Union and state departments. A provision relating to money bills and other financial bills passed by the state Legislature is mentioned in the Article. This provision states that all such bills have to be considered by the President during financial instability.
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