Brief Notes on the five Important Powers of President of India

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I. Executive Powers of President

1. The President is the chief executive of the country. Administration of the country is carried out on his name.

2. He is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

3. He appoints the Prime Minister and the other members of the Council of Ministers at the centre.

4. He makes major appointments in the country, such as Governors of the States, the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, Election Commissioner, Auditor General of India.

5. He makes the appointments of Indian Ambassadors to other countries and receives the ambassadors of other countries to India.

II. Financial Powers of President

1. No Money Bill can be presented before the Lok Sabha without the prior permission of the President.

2. Budget of the Centre Government is presented before the Lok Sabha by the Union Finance Minister only with the permission of the President.

3. He distributes the Income Tax and the Jute Export Tax between the Centre and the States.

III. Legislative Powers of President

Under Article 123(1) of the Constitution the President has certain legislative powers. He can promulgate an Ordinance which shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament. He can do so only when neither of the Houses of Parliament is in session and when he is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

1. The President summons the sessions of the Parliament. He can prorogue them too.

2. The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha.

3. No Bill, which has been passed by the Parliament can become a law without the signature of the President.

4. When the Parliament is not in session, he can issue Ordinances which are equal to laws passed by the Parliament.

5. The President has the power to nominate two Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha. He can also nominate 12 members of the Rajya Sabha who are famous in the fields of science, art, literature or social service.

IV. Judicial Powers of President

1. The President appoints the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court.

2. He also appoints the Judges of High Courts of the Indian States.

3. He has the power to pardon or to decrease the punishment of a criminal.

4. He can have the advice of the Supreme Court on any legal or constitutional matter.

5. While in office, the President cannot be sued in any court of law.

V. Emergency Powers of the President

The President of India has three types of Emergency Powers:

1. Proclamation of Emergency due to War, External Aggression or Internal Disturbances: Under such a situation, the President will have the authority to frame laws for any part of country. The Fundamental Rights of the citizens are also suspended.

2. Proclamation of Emergency due to failure of Constitutional Machinery in a State: In such a situation President's rule is imposed on a State and the Legislative Assembly of that State is dissolved. All the legislative powers of the State go to the Parliament.

3. Proclamation of Financial Emergency: In such a situation, the President may decrease the pay and allowances of the government employees. Moreover, the finances of the States also come under the control of the President.

Can There be President's Rule at the Centre? The President is empowered to dissolve the House of the People or the Lok Sabha in terms of Article 85(2)(d). The Rajya Sabha or the Council of State on the other hand is a permanent House and is not subject to dissolution.

According to Article 83(2)(d), the House of the People, unless sooner dissolved, continues for 5 years from the date fixed for its first meeting, and the completion of the said period of 5 years automatically operates as a dissolution of the House.

The Parliament can also be dissolved if the Prime Minister so advises the President but it is up to the President to accept the advice or not. (Making such a recommendation is a political, but not a legal, right of the Prime Minister).

In case a Prime Minister recommends dissolution of Parliament and the President accepts such advice, the latter is supposed to ask the Prime Minister to continue as the Head of a caretaker government till such time as fresh elections have been held and a new government commanding a majority comes into being.

There is no provision for President's rule at the Centre.

Position of the President:

The President of India is the constitutional head of the State and the government. He is the first citizen of India. The administration of the whole country is carried on in his name. The constitution has given him a large number of powers. But being the nominal head of the State, he does not use his powers. In reality, his powers are exercised by Council of Ministers. Therefore, it is said that the Indian President reigns but does not rule. His position is just like a rubber stamp.


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