What are the Miscellaneous Powers of the President of India?

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The following Miscelleneous Powers are enjoyed by the President of India.

(i) The President of India is the head of state and the first citizen of India.

(ii) He represents India abroad as the head of state or head of country.

(iii) He administers the oath of office to the members of central Council of Ministers and the Judges of the Supreme Court.

(iv) He receives foreign dignitaries.

(v) The diplomatic representatives of other countries present their credentials to him before taking up their assignments in India.

Discretionary powers of President

In general, the President of India accepts the advice of the Council of Ministers at the centre. But in some circumstances he acts in his discretion. These circumstances or situations are:

1. When no Political Party wins required Majority in the Lok Sabha Election -

If in a Lok Sabha election, no political party or alliance wins more than 50 per cent of seats, and more than one party or alliance stakes the claim that it has necessary majority support to form government, then President himself has to take decision oil which party or alliance he will invite to form government. He will invite that party or alliance which, he feels, has necessary majority support in the Lok Sabha.

In the 1998 Lok Sabha election, no political party won more than 50 per cent of seats. Several parties staked their claims to form government. After taking ail facts into consideration, President K.R. Narayanan invited the BJP leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee to form government, and directed him to seek the vote of confidence of the Lok Sabha. In the 2004 Lok Sabha election, no political party won more than half of the seats of Lok Sabha. President A. P.J. Kalam invited Dr. Manmohan Singh, the leader of UPA, to form government.

2. When the Government Loses the Support of Majority in the Lok Sabha -

When the government loses the confidence vote in the Lok Sabha or when the Prime Minister, feeling that due to factionalism or defection his government no longer enjoys the support of majority in the Lok Sabha, recommends fresh election, the President is not bound to accept this advice of the government, In 1999, the VP Singh government, after losing confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, advised President R. Venkataraman to dissolve the Lok Sabha.

But President Venkataramana did not accept this advice. On the contrary, he invited Chandrasekhar to form government as the latter convinced him that he had the necessary majority support in the Lok Sabha.

3. May not give Assent to a Bill -

The President may return a non-money Bill to the government for reconsideration or may keep it with him without giving assent to it. If a Governor, without giving assent to a bill passed by the state legislature, send§ it to the President for his assent, the president may give assent to it or he may return it for reconsideration of the state legislature.

If the bill, after reconsideration by the state legislature, is again sent to the President for his assent, he may or may not give assent to the bill. This bill becomes defunct if it fails to get the assent of the President,

4. President's Bill -

If the President feels on the basis of the report of the Governor of a state or otherwise that there has taken place constitutional failure in that state, he can declare state emergency in that state under Art. 356. But sometimes he does not accept the advice of the Council of Ministers at the centre to impose President's Rule in a state, if he feels that the report of the Governor of that state has not been based on objective facts. In 1997 there occurred a constitutional crisis in UP after the BSP withdrew its support from the Kalyan Singh government.

As per the direction of the Governor, Ramesh Bhandari, the government had to seek the confidence of the Assembly. But during the confidence vote, the house turned into a scene of violence and 24 legislators including the Speaker were hurt. Governor Bhandari sent a report to the centre recommending President's Rule in the state.

On the basis of this report, the Council of Ministers at the centre, advised the President to declare State Emergency (President's Rule) in UP. But President K.R. Narayanan, instead of accepting the advice of the Union Council of Ministers, directed it to reconsider its advice. The Council of Ministers, after reconsideration, decided to withdraw its advice. As a result, President's Rule was not imposed in UP.


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