What are the Judicial Powers of the President of India?

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The President plays an important role in the financial administration of the country. He is the fiscal head of India. His duty is to ensure its financial stability. He causes the annual budget to be placed before the Parliament. Without his recommendation no Money Bill can be introduced in the Lok Sabha.

The President has, at his disposal, the Contingency Fund of India. Out of this Fund he can sanction advances to meet unforeseen expenditures.

He appoints the Finance Commission of India which examines and makes recommendations regarding financial relations between the centre and the states.

Judicial Powers:

The President has some judicial power. He cannot be punished by any court.

(a) Appointment and Removal-

The President of India exercises different types of judicial powers. He appoints the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. He can remove a Judge if he receives an address to that effect from both Houses of the Parliament. He can also transfer High Court Judges.

(b) Pardon-

The President has the power to pardon, reprieve, and respite, remit, suspend and commute sentences of convicted persons. This 'pardoning power' has been given to almost all Heads of State. By exercising his power to pardon, the President of India can set free any offender who has been tried and convicted. By reprieve is meant a stay of execution of the sentence pending a proceeding for pardon etc. Respite means that a lesser sentence is awarded instead of the punishment prescribed.

To commute means substituting lighter punishment for harder one. He can exercise this power where the punishment is related to the offence against such laws as are within the executive power of the Union. Only the President has the power to grant pardon in cases of punishment to death. He has also the power to grant pardon, respite etc. with respect to punishment awarded by military courts. He exercises this power in his capacity as the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces.

(c) Seeking Advice-

Under Article 143, the President can seek the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court. Any question of law or matter of public importance can be referred by him to the Highest Court of the land for its advisory opinion.


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