President of India

President of India

Overview
The President of India is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and first citizen of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, as well as the Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander may refer to:* Commander-in-chief, a military rank**Supreme Allied Commander, title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances...

 of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Powers to pardon and clemency vests with the President of India.

Although Article 53 of the Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 states that the President can exercise their powers directly, with few exceptions, all of the authority vested in the President is in practice exercised by the Council of Ministers
Indian Cabinet Ministers
The Cabinet of India is the collective decision-making body of the Government of India, composed of the Prime Minister and 35 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers...

, headed by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

.

The President is elected, from a group of nominees, by the elected members of the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

 (Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 and Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature,...

) as well as of the state
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

s (Vidhan Sabha
Vidhan Sabha
The Vidhan Sabha or the Legislative Assembly is the lower house or the sole house of the provincial legislature in the different states of India. The same name is also used for the lower house of the legislatures for two of the union territories, Delhi and Pondicherry...

s), and serves for a term of five years.
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Encyclopedia
The President of India is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and first citizen of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, as well as the Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander may refer to:* Commander-in-chief, a military rank**Supreme Allied Commander, title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances...

 of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Powers to pardon and clemency vests with the President of India.

Although Article 53 of the Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 states that the President can exercise their powers directly, with few exceptions, all of the authority vested in the President is in practice exercised by the Council of Ministers
Indian Cabinet Ministers
The Cabinet of India is the collective decision-making body of the Government of India, composed of the Prime Minister and 35 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers...

, headed by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

.

The President is elected, from a group of nominees, by the elected members of the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

 (Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 and Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature,...

) as well as of the state
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

s (Vidhan Sabha
Vidhan Sabha
The Vidhan Sabha or the Legislative Assembly is the lower house or the sole house of the provincial legislature in the different states of India. The same name is also used for the lower house of the legislatures for two of the union territories, Delhi and Pondicherry...

s), and serves for a term of five years. Historically, ruling party (majority in the Lok Sabha) nominees have been elected and run largely uncontested. Incumbent
Incumbent
The incumbent, in politics, is the existing holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W...

s are permitted to stand for re-election. A formula is used to allocate votes so there is a balance between the population of each state and the number of votes assembly members from a state can cast, and to give an equal balance between State Assembly members and National Parliament members. If no candidate receives a majority of votes there is a system by which losing candidates are eliminated from the contest and votes for them transferred to other candidates, until one gains a majority. The Vice-President
Vice-President of India
The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the executive branch of the Government of India, after the President...

 is elected by a direct vote of all members (elected and nominated) of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The president of India resides in an estate in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

 known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rashtrapati Bhavan
The Rashtrapati Bhavan or The Official Residence of the Head of the State is the official residence of the President of India, located at Raisina hill in New Delhi, India. Until 1950 it was known as "Viceroy's House" and served as the residence of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India...

 (which roughly translates as President's Abode). The presidential retreat is The Retreat
The Retreat Building
The Retreat Building is the official Retreat Residence of the President of India at Chharabra, Shimla. It is located 10 km away from Shimla and is a thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top....

 in Chharabra
Chharabra
Chharabra, a small village situated approximately 8250 feet above sea level, 13 km from Shimla, India, on National Highway 22 , has summer retreat of President of India, summer residence of Governor of Punjab, a five star luxury hotel, a boarding school, and a helipad even though the...

, Shimla
Shimla
Shimla , formerly known as Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills," a term coined by the British...

 and Rashtrapati Nilayam
Rashtrapati Nilayam
Rashtrapati Nilayam originally known as Residency House is the official retreat of the President of India. It is located in Bollarum, Secunderabad. It was thrown open for public viewing from 1 January 2010 and 10 January 2010, with entry being free....

 (President's Place) in Hyderabad.

The 12th President of India is Her Excellency Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the first woman to serve in the office, who was sworn in on 25 July 2007.

Origin


India formally took shape as an independent and sovereign nation from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 on 15 August 1947
Independence Day (India)
The Independence Day of India is celebrated on the fifteenth of August to commemorate its independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation in 1947. The day is a national holiday in India. All over the country, flag-hoisting ceremonies are conducted by the local administration in...

 and the country became a Commonwealth dominion.

This was a temporary measure, however, as the continued existence of a shared monarch in the Indian political system was not considered by some to be appropriate. The first Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, was also the last British Viceroy of India. He soon handed power over to C. Rajagopalachari
C. Rajagopalachari
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari , informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India...

, who became the only ethnically Indian governor general. In the meantime, the Constituent Assembly was led by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The drafting was finished on 26 November 1949, and the Constitution was formally adopted on 26 January 1950 – a date of symbolic importance as it was on 26 January 1930 that Indian National Congress celebrated complete independence in the Lahore Session. When the constitution took effect, the Governor General and king were replaced by an elected president, with Dr. Rajendra Prasad serving as the first President of India.

The move ended India's status as a Commonwealth dominion, but the republic remained in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. Nehru argued that a nation should be allowed to stay in the Commonwealth simply by observing the British monarch as "Head of the Commonwealth" but not necessarily head of state. This was a ground-breaking decision that would set a precedent in the second half of the twentieth century for many other former British colonies to remain in the Commonwealth after becoming newly independent republics.

With the Constitution of India coming into effect on 26 January 1950, under Article 52, Part V, the office of the President of India was established, with Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its first occupant.

Legislative powers


The president summons both the Houses of the Parliament
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

 and prorogues them. He or she can dissolve the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

. These powers are formal, and by convention, the President uses these powers according to the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

.

President inaugurates the Parliament by addressing it after the general elections and also at the beginning of the first session each year. Presidential address on these occasions is generally meant to outline the new policies of the government
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

.

All bills passed by the Parliament can become laws only after receiving the assent of the President. The President can return a bill to the Parliament, if it is not a money bill, for reconsideration. When after reconsideration, the bill is passed and presented to the President, with or without amendments, President is obliged to assent to it.The President can also withhold his assent to the bill thereby exercising pocket veto.

When both Houses of the Parliament are not in session and if government feels the need for immediate action, President can promulgate ordinances which have the same force and effect as laws passed by Parliament. These are in the nature of interim or temporary legislation and their continuance is subject to parliamentary approval. Ordinances remain valid for no more than six weeks from the date the Parliament is convened unless approved by it earlier.

Article 53: executive powers


The Constitution
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

 vests in the President of India all the executive powers of the Central Government. The President appoints the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 the person most likely to command the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 (usually the leader of the majority party or coalition). The President then appoints the other members of the Council of Ministers, distributing portfolios to them on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Council of Ministers remains in power during the 'pleasure' of the President. In practice, however, the Council of Ministers must retain the support of the Lok Sabha. If a President were to dismiss the Council of Ministers on his or her own initiative, it might trigger a constitutional crisis
Constitutional crisis
A constitutional crisis is a situation that the legal system's constitution or other basic principles of operation appear unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government...

. Thus, in practice, the Council of Ministers cannot be dismissed as long as it commands the support of a majority in the Lok Sabha.

The President is responsible for making a wide variety of appointments. These include:
  • Governors of States
    States and territories of India
    India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

  • The Chief Justice
    Chief Justice of India
    The Chief Justice of India is the highest-ranking judge in the Supreme Court of India, and thus holds the highest judicial position in India. As well as presiding in the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice also head its administrative functions....

    , other judges of the Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of India
    The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

     and High Courts of India
    High Courts of India
    India's unitary judicial system is made up of the Supreme Court of India at the national level, for the entire country and the 21 High Courts at the State level. These courts have jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories...

    .
  • The Attorney General
    Attorney General
    In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General
    Comptroller and Auditor General
    Comptroller and auditor-general is the abbreviated title of a government official in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK, the Republic of Ireland, India, and China....

  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
  • The Chairman and other Members of the Union Public Service Commission
    Union Public Service Commission
    The Union Public Service Commission is the central agency authorized to conduct the Civil Services Examination for entry-level appointments to the various Civil Services of India. The agency's charter is granted by the Constitution of India...

  • Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries.


The President also receives the credentials of Ambassadors and High Commissioners from other countries.

The President is the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces
Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by three paramilitary forces and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.The President of India is...

.

The President of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 can grant a pardon to or reduce the sentence
Commutation of sentence
Commutation of sentence involves the reduction of legal penalties, especially in terms of imprisonment. Unlike a pardon, a commutation does not nullify the conviction and is often conditional. Clemency is a similar term, meaning the lessening of the penalty of the crime without forgiving the crime...

 of a convicted person for one time, particularly in cases involving punishment of death.

The decisions involving pardoning and other rights by the president are independent of the opinion of the Prime Minister or the Lok Sabha majority. In most other cases, however, the President exercises his or her executive powers on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Financial powers


All money bills originate in Parliament, but only if the President recommends it. He or she causes the Annual Budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

 and supplementary Budget before Parliament. No money bill can be introduced in Parliament without his or her assent. The President appoints a finance commission every five years.

Judicial powers


The president appoints the Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 of the Union Judiciary and other judges on the advice of the Chief Justice. The President dismisses the judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

s if and only if the two Houses of the Parliament pass resolutions to that effect by two-thirds majority of the members present.

If they consider a question of law or a matter of public importance has arisen they can ask for the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

. They may or may not accept that opinion.

He/she has the right to grant pardon. He/She can suspend, remit or commute the death sentence of any person..

He/she enjoys the judicial immunity:
  • No criminal proceedings can be initiated against him/her during his term in office.
  • He/She is not answerable for the exercise of his/her duties.


Basic terminologies used:
1. Pardon - completely absolves the offender
2. Reprieve - temporary suspension of the sentence
3. Respite - awarding a lesser sentence on special ground
4. Remission - reducing the amount of sentence without changing its character
5. Commutation - substitution of one form a punishment for another form which is of a lighter character

Diplomatic powers


All international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President. However, in practice, such negotiations are usually carried out by the Prime Minister along with his Cabinet (especially the Foreign Minister). Also, such treaties are subject to the approval of the Parliament. The President represents India in international forums
and affairs where such a function is chiefly ceremonial. The President may also send and receive diplomats, ie the officers from the Indian Foreign Service
Indian Foreign Service
The Indian Foreign Service is the foreign service of India. It is the body of career diplomats of India.The Indian Foreign Service is part of the Central Civil Services of the Government of India...

.

Military powers


The President is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India. The President can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of parliament only under the decision of the Council of the three Armed Forces Chief staffs, Military Secretary and President's Officer.
All important treaties and contracts are made in president's name.

Emergency powers


The President can declare three types of emergencies: national, state and financial.

National emergency


National emergency is caused by war, external aggression or armed rebellion in the whole of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 or a part of its territory. Such an emergency was declared in India in 1962 (Indo-China war), 1971 (Indo-Pakistan war), 1975 to 1977 (declared by Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 on account of "internal disturbance").

Under Article 352 of the India Constitution, the President can declare such an emergency only on the basis of a written request by the Cabinet Ministers headed by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

. Such a proclamation must be approved by the Parliament within one month. Such an emergency can be imposed for six months. It can be extended by six months by repeated parliamentary approval, up to a maximum of three years.

In such an emergency, Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens can be suspended. The six freedoms under Right to Freedom are automatically suspended. However, the Right to Life and Personal Liberty cannot be suspended.

The Parliament can make laws on the 66 subjects of the State List (which contains subjects on which the state governments can make laws). Also, all money bills are referred to the Parliament for its approval. The term of the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 can be extended by a period of up to one year, but not so as to extend the term of Parliament beyond six months after the end of the declared emergency.

State emergency


State emergency, also known as President's rule
President's rule
President's rule is the term used in India when a state legislature is dissolved or suspended and the state is placed under direct federal rule...

, is declared due to breakdown of constitutional machinery in a state.

If the President is satisfied, on the basis of the report of the Governor of the concerned state or from other sources that the governance in a state cannot be carried out according to the provisions in the Constitution, he/she can declare a state of emergency in the state. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within a period of six months.

Under Article 356 of the Indian Constitution, it can be imposed from six months to a maximum period of three years with repeated parliamentary approval every six months. If the emergency needs to be extended for more than three years, this can be achieved by a constitutional amendment
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

, as has happened in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

.

During such an emergency, the President can take over the entire work of the executive, and the Governor administers the state in the name of the President. The Legislative Assembly can be dissolved or may remain in suspended animation. The Parliament makes laws on the 66 subjects of the state list (see National emergency for explanation). All money bills have to be referred to the Parliament for approval.

On 19 January 2009, President's rule was imposed on the Indian State of Jharkhand
Jharkhand
Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east...

, making it the latest state where this kind of emergency has been imposed.

A State Emergency can be imposed via the following:
  1. By Article 356:-If that state failed to run constitutionally i.e. constitutional machinery has failed
  2. By Article 365:-If that state is not working according to the given direction of the Union Government.


This type of emergency needs the approval of the parliament within 2 months. This type of emergency can last up to a maximum of three years via extensions after each 6 month period. However, after one year it can be extended only if
  1. A state of National Emergency has been declared in the country or in the particular state.
  2. The Election Commission finds it difficult to organize an election in that state.

Financial emergency


If the President is satisfied that there is an economic situation in which the financial stability or credit of India is threatened, he/she can proclaim financial emergency as per the Constitutional Article 360. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within two months. It has never been declared. On a previous occasion, the financial stability or credit of India has indeed been threatened, but a financial emergency was avoided through the selling off of India's gold reserves.

A state of financial emergency remains in force indefinitely until revoked by the President.

In case of a financial emergency, the President can reduce the salaries of all government officials, including judges of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

 and High Courts
High Courts of India
India's unitary judicial system is made up of the Supreme Court of India at the national level, for the entire country and the 21 High Courts at the State level. These courts have jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories...

. All money bills are passed by the State legislatures are submitted to the President for his approval. They can direct the state to observe certain principles (economy measures) relating to financial matters.

Eligibility


Article 58 of the Constitution
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

 sets the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of the President.
A President must be:
  • a citizen of India
  • of 35 years of age or above
  • qualified to become a member of the Lok Sabha
    Lok Sabha
    The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...



A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit
Office of profit
An office of profit is a term used in a number of national constitutions to refer to executive appointments. A number of countries forbid members of the legislature from accepting an office of profit under the executive as a means to secure the independence of the legislature and preserve the...

 under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.

Certain office-holders, however, are permitted to stand as Presidential candidates. These are:
  • The current Vice President
    Vice-President of India
    The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the executive branch of the Government of India, after the President...

    .
  • The Governor
    Governor
    A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

     of any State.
  • A Minister of the Union or of any State (Including Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of India
    The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

     and Chief Ministers
    Chief Minister (India)
    A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a state of India. The chief minister is the head of the state Cabinet, and the leader of the state Legislature. By the Constitution of India, the chief minister is appointed by the Governor of the state....

    ).


In the event that the Vice President, a State Governor or a Minister is elected President, they are considered to have vacated their previous office on the date they begin serving as President.

Conditions for Presidency



Certain conditions, as per Article 59 of the Constitution, debar any eligible citizen from contesting the presidential elections.
The conditions are:
  • The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as President.
  • The President shall not hold any other office of profit.
  • The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residences and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.
  • The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.

Election and Oath of the President


Whenever the office becomes vacant, the new President is chosen by an electoral college
Electoral College (India)
-Composition:The college is made up of the following:* each member of the Rajya Sabha ;* each member of the Lok Sabha ;* each elected member of each state Legislative Assembly; and...

 consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

 and the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha
Vidhan Sabha
The Vidhan Sabha or the Legislative Assembly is the lower house or the sole house of the provincial legislature in the different states of India. The same name is also used for the lower house of the legislatures for two of the union territories, Delhi and Pondicherry...

).

The election is held in accordance to the system of Proportional Representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 by means of Single Transferable Vote
Single transferable vote
The single transferable vote is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through preferential voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most preferred candidate, and then, after candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or...

 method. The Voting takes place by secret ballot
Secret ballot
The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The system is one means of achieving the goal of...

 system. The manner of election of President is provided by Article 55 of the Constitution
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

.

Each elector casts a different number of votes. The general principle is that the total number of votes cast by Members of Parliament equals the total number of votes cast by State Legislators. Also, legislators from larger states cast more votes than those from smaller states. Finally, the number of legislators in a state matters; if a state has few legislators, then each legislator has more votes; if a state has many legislators, then each legislator has fewer votes.

The actual calculation for votes cast by a particular state is calculated by dividing the state's population by 1000, which is divided again by the number of legislators from the State voting in the electoral college. This number is the number of votes per legislator in a given state. For votes cast by those in Parliament, the total number of votes cast by all state legislators is divided by the number of members of both Houses of Parliament. This is the number of votes per member of either house of Parliament.

In 2007, the President of India was elected indirectly by the members of the Indian Parliament and by the individual States' Legislative Assemblies. Although Indian presidential elections involve actual voting by MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

s and MLAs, they tend to vote for the candidate supported by their respective parties.

Hence the internal process for the election involved lobbying by parties for their respective candidates. UPA
United Progressive Alliance
The United Progressive Alliance is a ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the government of India. The coalition is led by the Indian National Congress , which is currently the single largest political party in the Lok Sabha...

, the ruling coalition and NDA
National Democratic Alliance (India)
The National Democratic Alliance is a centre-right coalition of political parties in India. At the time of its formation in 1998, it was led by the Bharatiya Janata Party and had thirteen constituent parties. Its convenor is Sharad Yadav, and its honorary chairman is former prime minister Atal...

, the major opposition coalition hence hold the key to the nomination and support gathering. Another key player in the final decision was the Left parties
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
The Communist Party of India is a political party in India. It has a strong presence in the states of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura. As of 2011, CPI is leading the state government in Tripura. It leads the Left Front coalition of leftist parties in various states and the national parliament of...

, which agreed to support the UPA candidate under certain conditions for nomination. Mayawati
Mayawati
Mayawati is the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India. She heads the Bahujan Samaj Party, which represents the Bahujans or Dalits, the weakest strata of Indian society. This is her fourth term as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh...

, the newly elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, the most populous state of India, was also said to be a significant factor in the final election.

The oath of office for the President of India is as follows:
I, (name), do swear in the name of God (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President (or discharge the functions of the President) of the Republic of India, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law, and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Republic of India.

Constitutional role


Article 53(1) of the Constitution vests in the President "[t]he executive power of the Union", to be "exercised by him [sic] either directly or through officers subordinate to him" in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. However, the Constitution also states
Article 74 (Constitution of India)
Article 74 of the Constitution of the Republic of India provides for a Council of Ministers which shall aid the President in the exercise of his functions.-Text:Article 74...

 that the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

, is "to "aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice".

However, the Article 74(2) bars all courts completely from assuming even an existence of such an advice. Therefore from the courts' point of view, the real executive power lies with the President. As far as President's decision and action are concerned no one can challenge such decision or action on the ground that it is not in accordance with the advice tendered by the Ministers or that it is based on no advice.

The president of India shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of India or, in his absence, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court available, an oath or affirmation that he/she shall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution (Article 60).

Compensation


The President of India used to receive per month as per the Constitution. This amount was increased to in 1998. On September 11, 2008 the Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

 increased the salary of the President to . However, almost everything that the President does or wants to do is taken care of by the annual 22.5 crore (approx. US$ 5 million) budget that the Government allots for his or her upkeep.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rashtrapati Bhavan
The Rashtrapati Bhavan or The Official Residence of the Head of the State is the official residence of the President of India, located at Raisina hill in New Delhi, India. Until 1950 it was known as "Viceroy's House" and served as the residence of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India...

, or Presidential House, is located in Prakash Vir Shastri Avenue
Prakash Vir Shastri Avenue
Prakash Vir Shastri Avenue is an urban street road in New Delhi, known for spanning the majority of the city and classically housing the city Members of Parliament for the state of Uttar Pradesh. The avenue also contains Gate 35, which serves as the main entrance to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the palatial...

, where its main entrance, Gate 35, is located. It is the largest Presidential Palace in the world. The home is in the urban district of New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

 and was recently renamed from North Avenue in honour of the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 who was killed during his tenure here as a representative of the state of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

.

Removal


The President may be removed before the expiry of his or her term through impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

. A President can be removed for violation of the Constitution of India
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

.

The process may start in either of the two houses of the Parliament
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

. The house initiates the process by levelling the charges against the President. The charges are contained in a notice which has to be signed by at least one quarter of the total members of that house. The notice is sent up to the President and 14 days later, it is taken up for consideration.

A resolution to impeach the President has to be passed by a two-third majority of the total members of the originating house. It is then sent to the other house. The other house investigates the charges that have been made. During this process, the President has the right to defend himself/herself through an authorized counsel
Counsel
A counsel or a counselor gives advice, more particularly in legal matters.-U.K. and Ireland:The legal system in England uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister-at-law, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers...

. If the second house also approves the charges made by two-third majority again, the President stands impeached and is deemed to have vacated his/her office from the date when such a resolution stands passed. Other than impeachment, no other penalty can be given to the President for the violation of the Constitution.

No President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the above provisions have never been used.

Succession


In the event of a vacancy created for the President's post due to death, resignation, impeachment, etc., Article 65 of the Indian Constitution says that the Vice President will have to discharge his or her duties. The Vice President reverts to his or her office when a new President is elected and enters upon his or her office. When the President is unable to act owing to his or her absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice President discharges the President's functions for a temporary period until the President resumes his or her duties.

When the Vice President acts as, or discharges the functions of the President, he has all the powers and immunities of the President and is entitled to the same emoluments as the President.

Parliament has by an enactment made provision for the discharge of the functions of the President when vacancies occur in the offices of the President and of the Vice President simultaneously, owing to removal, death, resignation of the incumbent or otherwise. In such an eventuality, the Chief Justice
Chief Justice of India
The Chief Justice of India is the highest-ranking judge in the Supreme Court of India, and thus holds the highest judicial position in India. As well as presiding in the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice also head its administrative functions....

, or in his absence, the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

 available discharges the functions of the President until a newly elected President enters upon his office or a newly elected Vice President begins to act as President under Article 65 of the Constitution, whichever is the earlier.

Important presidential interventions


The President's role as defender of the Constitution, and their powers as Head of State, especially in relation to those exercised by the Prime Minister as leader of the government, have changed over time. In particular, Presidents have made a number of interventions into government and lawmaking, which have established and challenged some conventions concerning Presidential intervention. Some of the more noteworthy are documented here.

In 1979, the then Prime Minister, Charan Singh, did not enjoy a Parliamentary majority. He responded to this by simply not advising the President to summon Parliament. Since then, Presidents have been more diligent in directing incoming Prime Ministers to convene Parliament and prove their majority within reasonable deadlines (2–3 weeks). In the interim period, the Prime Ministers are generally restrained from making policy decisions.

The constitution gives the President the power to return a bill unsigned but it circumscribes the power to send it back only once for reconsideration. If the Parliament sends back the bill with or without changes, the President is duty bound to sign it.
Since the nineties, Parliamentary elections have generally not resulted in a single party or group of parties having a distinct majority. In such cases, Presidents have used their discretion and directed Prime Ministerial aspirants to establish their credentials before being invited to form the government. Typically, the aspirants have been asked to produce letters from various party leaders, with the signatures of all the MPs who are pledging support to their candidature. This is in addition to the requirement that a Prime Minister prove he has the support of the Lok Sabha (by a vote on the floor of the House) within weeks of being sworn in to office.

Since the Constitution does not provide any time limit within which the President is to declare his assent or refusal, the President could exercise this veto by not taking any action for an indefinite time; but if the ministry has a strong backing in Parliament, it would not be possible for him to do so even though he\she can do it. Pocket Veto was used in 1986 by the then President Giani Zail Singh in the Postal Bill.

In the late nineties, President Narayanan
K. R. Narayanan
Kocheril Raman Narayanan , also known as K. R. Narayanan, was the tenth President of India. He was the first Dalit, and the first Malayali, to have been President....

 introduced the important practice of explaining to the nation (by means of Rashtrapati Bhavan communiqués) the thinking that led to the various decisions he took while exercising his discretionary powers; this has led to openness and transparency in the functioning of the President.

In mid-2006, President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam sent back a controversial bill regarding enlarging the scope of the offices of profit, which disqualify a person from being a member of parliament. The opposition combine, the NDA
NDA
NDA is an abbreviation that may refer to:* National Dance Association, the oldest American organization for dance education* National Defence Academy , a military academy in India...

, hailed the move. The UPA chose to send the bill back to the president without any changes, and after 30 days Kalam gave the assent.

External links