Election Of President And Its Functions
The President is considered the first citizen of India and he is also the head of the Indian state. He acts as the symbol of the integrity and unity of the nation. Part V of the Indian Constitution, Articles 52 to 78, deals with the Union Executive. The Union executive includes the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, the council of ministers and the Attorney General of India.
Election of the President
• The President is elected by the members of the electoral college rather than by the people. The electoral college consists of elected members of the state legislative assembly, both the house of Parliament and legislative assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry Union Territories.
• The provision on the constitution states that there should be a uniformity in the representation scale of states as well as parity between the Union and the State as a whole at the election of the President.
• The election of President is held according to proportional system representation by means of a single transferable vote and voting is done by secret ballot in order to ensure that a successful candidate wins by an absolute majority.
• A candidate, if elected to the office of President, he/she shall secure a fixed quota of votes. It is determined by dividing the total number of valid votes polled by the number of candidates to be elected, plus one and adding 1 to the quotient.
• The voter, when casting the vote, need to mark against the names of candidates.
• After voting is completed, first the preference votes are counted and in case a candidate secures the required quota, he is considered elected.
• If a candidate does not secure the required quota, then the process of transfer of votes comes into the picture. The ballots of candidates who secure the least number of preference votes get cancelled and their second preference votes are transferred to the first preference votes of other candidates.
• All the disputes related to the election of the President come under the purview of the Supreme Court.
Qualifications for Election as President
Certain qualifications need to be fulfilled if a person wants to contest for election as President:
• He should be an Indian citizen.
• As a member of Lok Sabha, he should be qualified for election.
• He must be of 35 years of age and above.
• No office of profit shall be held under the union government or state government or local authority.
Conditions of Office of President
The constitution lays down certain conditions for the Office of the President. These are given below:
• He should not be a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.
• He is entitled to reside in Rashtrapati Bhawan without paying rent.
• He has entitled to some privileges and allowances. These are determined by the Parliament and cannot be reduced during his term.
Term of President’s Office
• The office term of the President is five years which is counted from the date on which he joins his office.
• He can resign from the post by giving the resignation letter to Vice-president.
• By the process of impeachment, he can be removed from the office before the completion of his tenure.
• Till the time the successor resumes his charge, the term of the office of President can be extended.
• The President is eligible for re-election for any number of terms. But in the USA, a person cannot be elected to the office of the President more than two times.
Impeachment, Vacancy in the President’s Office
• The President of state can be removed by the impeachment process which can be initiated by either House of Parliament. At least one-fourth of members of the house that has framed charges should sign and approve the impeachment charges and the notice of 14 days shall be given to the President of state.
• Once the impeachment charge is approved by the majority of the two-third of the total membership of the house, it is passed on to the other house for the investigation of the charges.
• If the other house withstands the charges and passes the charges by two-third majority, then President is removed from office from the date on which the bill is passed.
• A vacancy in the Office of the President can occur by the expiry of the term, by his resignation, by his death or by impeachment process or when the election has been declared void.
• Whenever a vacancy occurs due to the above-mentioned reasons, the Vice-President acts as the President until a new President is elected.
• In case the office of Vice-President is also vacant, then the Chief Justice of India discharges the function of President.
Powers and Functions of the President
• The powers of the President include executive powers, that is, appointing of Prime Minister, Attorney General of India and Comptroller and Auditor General of India; appointing inter-state council and administering Union Territories. Legislative powers include dissolving of Lok Sabha, addressing the Parliament once the first session commences, nominating members of the Lok Sabha etc. Financial powers are about recommending the introduction of money bills in the Parliament, making advances out of contingency funds and many more. Judicial powers include appointing judges of the Supreme Court and High court and appointing Chief Justice. Diplomatic powers are negotiating and concluding international agreements and treaties. The President is the supreme commander of military forces. He can declare war or conclude peace with the approval of Parliament. Emergency powers can declare a national emergency under Article 352, a financial emergency which is constituted in Articles 356 and 365 and President’s rule according to Article 360.
• The bill which is passed by Parliament can become Act if the receives the assent of the President. According to Article 111 of the Indian Constitution, whenever a bill is presented to President, he may give his assent or may withhold the assent or he may return the bill for Parliament’s reconsideration.
• If a bill is presented to Governor by the state legislature, then under Article 200 of the Indian Constitution, there are four alternatives. Governor can give assent to the bill or withhold his assent or return the bill or he may reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.
• President also has veto power over bills which are passed by Parliament. He may use this power with the objective of preventing unconstitutional and ill-considered legislation.
• There are four types of veto power – absolute veto (withholding of assent of the bill which is passed by the legislature), qualified veto (overridden by the legislature with the higher majority), suspensive veto (overridden by the legislature with the regular majority) and pocket veto (no action on the bill which is passed by the legislature). The President can use absolute, suspensive and pocket veto.
List of some Articles related to President
The President of India – Article 52
Election of President – Article 54
Re-election eligibility – Article 57
Conditions of President Office – Article 59
Oath by the President – Article 60
Vice-President act as President – Article 65
Attorney General of India – Article 76
Multiple Choice Questions
Q1. Which among these veto powers cannot be used by the President of India?
(a) Absolute veto
(b) Pocket veto
(c) Qualified veto
(d) Suspensive veto
Q2. Which of these articles is related to the financial emergency?
(a) Article 256
(b) Article 356
(c) Article 360
(d) Article 282
Q3. In which of the following cases vacancy in the President’s office can occur?
(a) When elections are declared void
(b) Expiry of the term
(d) All of the above
Q4. By which process President can be removed from the office before completion of his tenure?
(a) Impeachment process
(b) Re-election process
(c) Using veto
(d) Giving position to Vice-President
Q5. The title of ‘First citizen of India’ is given to?
(a) Prime Minister
(c) Chief Minister
Q6. Which part of the Indian Constitution deals with Union Executive?
(a) Part II
(b) Part IV
(c) Part III
(d) Part V
Q7. All the disputes related to the election of the President come under the purview of
(a) Supreme court
(b) High court
(d) Prime Minister
Q8. What should be the age criteria of qualifying eligibility conditions for the election of President?
(a) 30 years and above
(b) 35 years and above
(c) 42 years and above
(d) 36 years and above
Q9. Privileges and allowances provided to the President are decided by
(a) Prime Minister
(d) Chief Justice of India
Q10. Who discharges the functions of the President, if President’s and even Vice-President’s office is vacant?
(b) Prime Minister
(c) Chief Justice of India
(d) Attorney General of India
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