1) Which of the following is/are true regarding constitutional position of President of India?
1) The President has no situational discretion when it comes to dissolution of Lok Sabha, if the council of ministers has lost its majority.
2) President can ask the council of ministers to reconsider the advice only once.
3) Appointment of the PM when no party has a majority comes under situational discretion of the President.
b. 1, 2
c. 2, 3
d. 1, 3
ANSWER: 2, 3
- In Parliamentary form of government provided by the Constitution of India the President has been made only a nominal executive.
- The real executive being the council of ministers headed by the prime minister.
- The President has to exercise his powers and functions with the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by the prime minister.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar noted the following -
1. Under the presidential system of America, the President is the Chief head of the Executive and administration is vested in him.
2. Under the Indian Constitution, the President occupies the same position as the King under the English Constitution.
3. He is the head of the State but not of the Executive.
4. He represents the nation but does not rule the nation.
5. He is the symbol of the nation.
6. His place in administration is that of a ceremonial device or a seal by which the nation’s decisions are made known.
7. He is generally bound by the advice of his ministers.
8. He can do nothing contrary to their advice nor can he do anything without their advice.
- Provisions of Articles 53, 74 and 75 help in understanding the Constitutional position of the President.
- Article 53 - The executive power of the Union shall be vested in President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.
- Article 74 - There shall be a council of ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.
- Article 75 - The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
- This provision is the basis of the parliamentary form of government.
- The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 bound the President to act by the advice of the council of ministers headed by the prime minister.
- But the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978 gave the President right to ask the council of ministers to reconsider such advice either generally or otherwise.
- But, he ‘shall’ act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration.
- Thus, the President may return a matter once for reconsideration of his ministers, but the reconsidered advice shall be binding on the President.
- The President has no constitutional discretion.
But, he has some situational discretion i.e., the President can act without the advice of the ministers under the following scenarios -
(a) Appointment of Prime Minister when no party has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha or when the Prime Minister in office dies suddenly and there is no obvious successor.
(b) Dismissal of the council of ministers when it cannot prove the confidence of the Lok Sabha.
(c) Dissolution of the Lok Sabha if the council of ministers has lost its majority.
2) Match the following correctly -
|A. Pardon||1. Lighter form of sentence.|
|B. Reprieve||2. Lesser sentence due to special fact.|
|C. Respite||3. Stay of sentence execution.|
|D. Commute||4. Remove sentence and conviction.|
a. A-4, B-3, C-2, D-1
b. A-2, B-1, C-4, D-3
c. A-4, B-1, C-2, D-3
d. A-2, B-3, C-4, D-1
ANSWER: A-4, B-3, C-2, D-1
Article 72 - The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence -
(a) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial;
(b) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
(c) in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
- This pardoning power of the President is an executive power and is independent of the Judiciary.
- But, while exercising this power the President does not sit as a court of appeal.
The reasons to confer this power are -
(a) to keep the door open for correcting any judicial errors in the operation of law; and
(b) to afford relief from a sentence, which the President regards as unduly harsh.
The pardoning power includes -
- Pardon removes both the sentence and the conviction.
- It completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.
- Commutation means lighter form of punishment.
- It means substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form.
- E.g., a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment etc.
- It means reducing the period of sentence.
- Here the character of the sentence is not changed.
- E.g., a sentence of 3 year rigorous imprisonment may be remitted to 2 year rigorous imprisonment.
- It means awarding a lesser sentence in place of the original harsh one due to some special circumstance or fact.
- Special fact can be physical disability of a convict; pregnancy of a woman offender etc.
- Reprieve means a stay of the execution of a sentence for a temporary period.
- It is especially seen for death sentences.
- Its aim is to allow the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President.
The Supreme Court on examining pardoning power of the President laid down the following principles -
1. Mercy petitioner has no right to an oral hearing by the President.
2. The President can examine the evidence afresh. He can take a different view from the view taken by court.
3. The power is to be exercised by the President on the advice of the union cabinet.
4. The President is not bound to give reasons for his order.
5. The President can afford relief not only from a sentence that he regards as unduly harsh but also from an evident mistake.
6. There is no need for the Supreme Court to lay down specific guidelines for the exercise of power by the President.
7. The exercise of power by the President is not subject to judicial review except where the presidential decision is arbitrary, irrational, malafide or discriminatory.
8. Where the earlier petition for mercy has been rejected by the President, stay cannot be obtained by filing another petition.
3) Which of the following are true regarding powers of the President of India?
1) He sends and receives diplomats.
2) He appoints Chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
3) He can grant pardon to a convict.
a. 2, 3
b. 1, 3
c. 1, 2
d. All of the above
ANSWER: All of the above
Judicial Powers of the President -
- He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of Supreme Court and the high courts.
- Under article 143 he can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact.
- But, the advice is not binding on the President.
He can grant pardon, reprieve, respite, commutation and remission of punishment -
(a) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial;
(b) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union law; and
(c) In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
Diplomatic Powers of President -
- The international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President.
- But, they are subject to the approval of the Parliament.
- President represents India in international forums and affairs.
- He sends and receives diplomats like ambassadors, high commissioners etc.
Military Powers of President -
- President is the supreme commander of the defense forces of India.
- Hence, he appoints the Chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
- He can declare war or conclude peace, but this is subject to the approval of the Parliament.
Emergency Powers of President -
- The Constitution confers extraordinary powers on the President to deal with emergency situations.
The President can declare three types of emergencies -
1. National Emergency (Article 352);
2. President’s Rule (Article 356 & 365); and
3. Financial Emergency (Article 360).
4) Which of the following are true regarding executive and financial powers of the President of India?
1) President causes to be laid before the Parliament the Union Budget.
2) No demand for a grant can be made except on President’s recommendation.
3) He can promulgate ordinances.
a. 1, 3
b. 2, 3
c. 1, 2
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 2
Promulgating ordinances is legislative power.
Executive powers of the President -
1. All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name.
2. He can make rules to decide the way in which the orders and other instruments made and executed in his name shall be authenticated.
3. He can make rules for more convenient transaction of business of the Union government, and for allocation of the said business among the ministers.
4. President appoints the prime minister and the other ministers.
5. They hold office during his pleasure.
6. President appoints the attorney general of India.
7. He determines remuneration of AG.
8. The AG holds office during the pleasure of the President.
9. He appoints the CAG of India, the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the governors of states etc.
10. He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union, and proposals for legislation from the prime minister.
11. He can require the Prime Minister to submit, for consideration of the council of ministers, any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but, which has not been considered by the council.
12. He can appoint a commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs, STs and other backward classes.
13. He can appoint an inter-state council to promote centre-state and inter-state cooperation.
14. He directly administers the union territories through administrators appointed by him.
15. He can declare any area as scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas.
Financial powers of the President -
1. Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with President’s prior recommendation.
2. President causes to be laid before the Parliament the Union Budget.
3. No demand for a grant can be made except on President’s recommendation.
4. President can make advances out of the contingency fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
5. President constitutes a finance commission after every five years.
6. It is to recommend the distribution of revenues between the centre and the states.
5) Which of the following are true regarding legislative powers of the President of India?
1) President can make regulations for the peace and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu etc.
2) President’s permission is needed for introducing bill for creation of new state.
3) President can promulgate ordinances.
4) President decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament.
a. 1, 2, 3
b. 2, 3, 4
c. 1, 4
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 2, 3, 4
Legislative Powers of the President -
The President is an integral part of the Parliament of India -
1. President can summon or prorogue the Parliament.
2. He can dissolve the Lok Sabha.
3. He can also summon a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament.
4. At the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year he can address the Parliament.
5. He can send messages to the Houses of Parliament, regarding pending bills etc.
6. When the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant, he can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings.
7. When the offices of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman fall vacant, he can appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings
8. He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge in literature, science, art and social service.
9. He can nominate 2 members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community.
10. He decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament, in consultation with the Election Commission.
11. President’s prior recommendation is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament.
12. E.g., bills involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India or a bill for the altering boundaries of states or creation of a new state.
13. On passage of bill by Parliament, the President can -
(a) give his assent to the bill; or
(b) with-hold his assent to the bill; or
(c) return the bill (except a money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament.
14. But, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament, with or without amendments, the President has to give his assent to the bill.
15. When a bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the President, the President can -
(a) give his assent to the bill; or
(b) withhold his assent to the bill; or
(c) direct the governor to return the bill (except a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. It is not obligatory for the President to give his assent to the reconsidered bill.
16. President can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in session.
17. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within 6 weeks from its reassembly.
18. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.
19. He lays the reports of the CAG, UPSC, Finance Commission etc. before the Parliament.
20. He can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
21. For Puducherry, the President can legislate by making regulations but only when the assembly is suspended or dissolved.
6) If the office of President, Vice-President, Chief Justice Of India is vacant, who acts as the President of India?
a. Senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court
b. Speaker of Lok Sabha
c. Chairman of Rajya Sabha
d. Senior-most Chief Justice amongst the Chief justices of all High Courts in India
ANSWER: Senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court
President’s office can be become vacant due to -
(a) Expiry of his tenure of five years.
(b) His resignation.
(c) His removal by the process of impeachment.
(d) His death.
(e) Other reasons. E.g., when he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.
- An election to fill the vacancy must be held before the expiration of the term i.e., 5 years, of the President.
- In case of any delay in conducting the election for the new President by any reason, the outgoing President continues to hold office (beyond his term of five years) until his successor assumes charge.
- This is provided in the Constitution to prevent an interregnum i.e., void or gap or break.
- In this scenario, the Vice-President does not act as President.
- If the office falls vacant due to resignation, removal, death or otherwise, then the election to fill the vacancy should be held within 6 months from the date of the occurrence of such vacancy.
- The newly elected President will remain in office for a full term of 5 years from the date he assumes charge.
- When a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or other reasons, the Vice-President acts as the President until a new President is elected.
- Also, if the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness etc., the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.
- case the office of Vice-President is vacant, the Chief Justice of India acts as President.
- If his office too is vacant, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court (who is available) acts as the President or discharges the functions of the President.
- When any other person like the VP, CJI, or the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court acts as the President, they enjoys all the powers and immunities of the President and are entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are determined by the Parliament.
7) Which article deals with impeachment of the President?
Term of President’s office -
- The President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
- But, he can resign from his office at any time.
- He needs to address the resignation letter to the Vice-President.
- He can also be removed from the office before completion of his term by the process of impeachment.
- The President can hold office beyond his term of five years until his successor assumes charge.
- He is also eligible for re-election for any number of times to that office.
- In USA, a person can be elected to the office of the President only twice and not more than that.
Impeachment of President -
- Article 61 deals with the process of impeachment.
- The President can be removed from office for ‘violation of the Constitution’ by a process of impeachment.
- But the phrase ‘violation of the Constitution’ is not defined in the constitution.
- The impeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament.
- These charges should be signed by 1/4th members of the House that framed the charges.
- A 14 days’ notice should be given to the President.
- After the impeachment resolution is passed by a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of that House, it is sent to the other House, which should investigate the charges.
- The President has the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation.
- If the other House also sustains the charges and passes the impeachment resolution by a majority of two-thirds of the total membership, then the President stands removed from his office from the date on which the bill is so passed.
- An impeachment is a quasi-judicial procedure in the Parliament.
- The nominated members of either House of Parliament can participate in the impeachment of the President though they do not participate in his election.
- The elected members of the legislative assemblies of states and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the impeachment of the President though they participate in his election.
- No President of India has so far been impeached.
8) Which of the following is/are true regarding qualifications for election as President?
1) Nomination of a candidate for election to the office of President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors.
2) A minister of the Union is not said to occupy office of profit.
3) Candidate should have completed 35 years of age.
4) He should be Indian by birth only and not naturalization.
a. 1, 2, 4
b. 1, 2, 3
c. 3, 4
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 2, 3
Qualifications for being eligible for election as President - To be eligible :
(a) He should be a citizen of India. (In India both a citizen by birth or citizen by naturalization are eligible for office of the President)
(b) He should have completed 35 years of age.
(c) He should be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha.
(d) He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government or any local authority or any other public authority.
(e) A sitting President or Vice-President of the Union, the Governor of any state and a minister of the Union or any state is not deemed to hold any office of profit and hence qualified as a presidential candidate.
- The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders.
- Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs. 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.
- The security deposit would be forfeited in case the candidate fails to secure 1/6th of the votes polled.
- Before 1997, number of proposers and seconders was ten each and the amount of security deposit was Rs. 2,500.
- In 1997, they were increased so as to discourage the non-serious candidates.
Oath or Affirmation by the President -
- The oath of office to the President is administered by the Chief Justice of India and in his absence, the senior- most judge of the Supreme Court (who is available).
- Any other person acting as President or discharging the functions of the President also undertakes the similar oath or affirmation.
Conditions of President’s Office -
The Constitution lays down the conditions of the President’s office -
1. The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State.
2. If such 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.
3. The President shall not hold any other office of profit.
4. The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residence (Rashtrapati Bhavan)
5. He shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.
6. The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.
- The President enjoys personal immunity from legal liability for his official acts.
- During his term of office, he is immune from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts.
- He cannot be arrested or imprisoned.
- But, civil proceedings can be instituted after giving two months’ notice, against him during his term of office for his personal acts.
9) Which former President of India was elected unopposed?
a. N. Sanjeeva Reddy
b. Dr. Rajendra Prasad
c. Dr. Abdul Kalam
d. K. R. Naryanan
ANSWER: N. Sanjeeva Reddy
1. 1952 - Dr. Rajendra Prasad won against K.T. Shah.
2. 1957 - Dr. Rajendra Prasad won against N.N. Das.
3. 1962 - Dr. S. Radhakrishnan won against Ch.Hari Ram.
4. 1967 - Dr. Zakir Hussain won against K. Subba Rao.
5. 1969 - V.V. Giri won against N. Sanjeeva Reddy.
6. 1974 - Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed won against Tridev Chaudhuri.
7. 1977 - N. Sanjeeva Reddy won Unopposed.
8. 1982 - Giani Zail Singh won against H.R. Khanna.
9. 1987 - R. Venkataraman won against V.Krishna Ayyer.
10. 1992 - Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma won against George Swell.
11. 1997 - K.R. Narayanan won against T.N. Sheshan.
12. 2002 - Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam won against Laxmi Sehgal.
13. 2007 - Ms. Pratibha Patil won against B.S. Shekhawat.
14. 2012 - Pranab Mukherjee won against P.A. Sangma.
10) Which of the following is/are true?
1) In President’s election, in India, every voter has single vote.
2) Direct election for the president who is the nominal executive would not be right as he does not have much real power.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 2
- Some members of the Constituent Assembly criticized the system of indirect election for the President.
- They termed it as undemocratic and proposed the idea of direct election.
But, the Constitution makers chose indirect election because -
- The system is in harmony with the parliamentary system of government.
- In it, the President is only a nominal executive and the real powers are exercised by the council of ministers headed by the prime minister.
- It would not be right and an anomaly to have direct election of the President and not give him any real power.
- The direct election of the President would have been very costly as well as time and energy consuming due to the vast size of India as well as huge population.
- Some members of the Constituent Assembly suggested that the President should be elected by the members of the two Houses of Parliament alone.
- The constitution makers said that if the Parliament is dominated by one political party, it would chose a candidate from that party and such a President could not represent the states of the Indian Union.
- The present system makes the President a representative of the Union and the states equally.
- The expression ‘proportional representation’ in the case of presidential election is a misnomer.
- Proportional representation takes place where two or more seats are to be filled.
- In case of the President, the vacancy is only one.
- It could be called a preferential or alternative vote system.
- Also, the expression ‘single transferable vote’ was objected as no voter has a single vote.
- Every voter has plural votes.
11) Which of the following is/true regarding President?
1) Nominated members of the state legislative assemblies participate in President’s election.
2) Articles 52 to 78 deals with the Union executive.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 2
- Articles 52 to 78 in Part 5 of the Constitution deals with the Union executive.
- The Union executive consists of - the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the council of ministers and the Attorney General of India.
- The President is the head of the Indian State.
- He is the first citizen of India.
Election of The President -
- The President is elected not directly by the people.
- The method of election of the President has been adopted from the Irish constitution.
- He is elected by members of Electoral College.
The electoral college consists of -
(a) The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament.
(b) The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states.
(c) The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
People who don’t participate in election of President are -
(a) Nominated members of both of Houses of Parliament.
(b) The nominated members of the state legislative assemblies.
(c) The members (both elected and nominated) of the state legislative councils (in case of the bicameral legislature).
(d) The nominated members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry.
- Where an assembly is dissolved, the members are not qualified to vote in presidential election, even if fresh elections to the dissolved assembly are not held before the presidential election.
- The Constitution also provides that there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of different states as well as parity between the states as a whole and the Union at the election of the President.
- All doubts and disputes in connection with election of the President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
- The election of a person as President cannot be challenged on the ground that the Electoral College was incomplete (i.e., existence of any vacancy among the members of Electoral College).
- If the election of a person as President is declared void by the Supreme Court, acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the Supreme Court are not invalidated and continue to remain in force.
12) Which of the following formula/s are correct with regard to the President’s election?
a. 1, 2
b. 2, 3
c. 1, 3
- The election of the President shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
- The voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.
- The Constitution says that there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of different states.
- There will also be parity between the states as a whole and the Union at the election of the President.
To achieve this, the number of votes which each elected member of the legislative assembly of each state and the Parliament is entitled to cast at such election shall be determined in the following manner -
- Every elected member of the legislative assembly of a state shall have as many votes as there are multiples of one thousand in the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the state by the total number of the elected members of the assembly.
This can be written as -
- Every elected member of either House of Parliament shall have such number of votes as may be obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to members of the legislative assemblies of the states by the total number of the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament.
This can be written as -
- The proportional representation system ensures that the successful candidate is returned by the absolute majority of votes.
- A candidate, in order to be declared elected to the office of President, must secure a fixed quota of votes.
- The quota of votes is determined by dividing the total number of valid votes polled by the number of candidates to be elected plus one and adding one to the quotient.
The formula can be written as -
- Each member of the Electoral College is given only one ballot paper.
- The voter is required to indicate his preferences by marking 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. against the names of candidates.
- This means that the voter can indicate as many preferences as there are candidates in the competition.
- In the first phase, the first preference votes are counted.
- Say if a candidate secures the required quota in this phase, he is declared elected.
- Else, the process of transfer of votes is started.
- The ballots of the candidate securing the least number of first preference votes are cancelled.
- His second preference votes are transferred to the first preference votes of other candidates.
- This process continues till a candidate secures the required quota.
13) Which of the following is true regarding strength and elections of legislative council?
1) President can exercise pocket veto in respect of state legislation also.
2) Pocket veto of Indian President is larger than that of the American President.
3) In qualified veto, the legislature cannot override the President.
a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 2
- The President has the veto power over the bills passed by the Parliament.
- That mean he can withhold his assent to the bills.
- Veto is a Latin word and it means ‘to forbid’.
The reasons for this power is -
(a) to prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation passed by the Parliament; and
(b) to prevent an unconstitutional legislation.
The veto power in modern states can be of four types -
- The President of India is vested with three of them - absolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto.
- Indian President doesn’t have qualified veto. It is possessed by the President of America.
Absolute Veto -
- It means withholding his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament.
- The bill then ends and does not become an act.
Usually, this veto is exercised in the below mentioned cases -
1. in respect to private members’ bills; and
2. In respect to the government bills when the cabinet resigns after the passage of the bills and the new cabinet advises the President not to give his assent to such bills.
Qualified Veto -It means that the legislature can override the president with a higher majority.
Suspensive Veto -
- It means that I can be overridden by the legislature by simple majority.
- This veto is exercised when the President returns a bill for reconsideration of the Parliament.
- It does not end the bill but just delays the passage of the bill.
- But, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, the President has to give his assent to the bill.
- The President does not possess suspensive veto in the case of money bills.
Pocket Veto -
- It means to take no action on the bill that comes to him for his assent.
- The President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period.
- Constitution does not prescribe any time-limit within which the President has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent.
- In USA, the President has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days.
- Thus it is said that the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the American President.
- The 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 made it mandatory for the President to give his assent to a constitutional amendment bill.
Presidential Veto over State Legislation -
- The President has veto power with respect to state legislation also.
Under article 201, when a bill is reserved by the governor for the consideration of the President, the President has three choices -
(a) he may give his assent to the bill; or
(b) he may withhold his assent to the bill; or
(c) he may direct the governor to return the bill (except a money bill) for the reconsideration of the state legislature.
- Also, the President is not bound to give his assent to the reconsidered bill.
- Thus, the state legislature cannot override the veto power of the President.
- Also, the Constitution has not prescribed any time limit within which the President has to take decision with regard to a bill reserved by the governor for his consideration.
- Thus, the President can exercise pocket veto in respect of state legislation also.
14) Which of the following is true regarding ordinance making power of the President?
1) Article 123 deals with ordinance making power of the President.
2) Ordinance making power of the President is discretionary.
3) The maximum life of an ordinance can be six months and six weeks.
a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 3
- Article 123 of the Constitution says that the President can promulgate ordinances during the recess of Parliament.
- These promulgated ordinances have the same force and effect as an act of Parliament.
- However, they essentially are temporary laws.
- This is an important legislative power of the President vested in him to deal with unforeseen or urgent matters.
But, this power is subject to the below mentioned limitations -
1. Ordinance can be promulgated only when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session. Ordinances can also be promulgated when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
2. An ordinance made when both the Houses are in session is void.
3. This shows that power of President to make laws by ordinance is not a parallel power of legislation.
4. He can make an ordinance only when he is satisfied that the circumstances exist that render it necessary for him to take immediate action by issuing ordinances.
5. In 1970, the Supreme Court held that the President’s satisfaction is subject to judicial review on the ground of malafide.
6. 38th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1975 made the President’s satisfaction final and conclusive and beyond judicial review.
7. But, this provision was deleted by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978.
8. The President’s satisfaction is justiciable on the ground of malafide.
9. An ordinance can be issued only on those subjects on which the Parliament can make laws (Union and Concurrent lists).
10. The ordinance is subject to the same constitutional limitation as an act of Parliament.
11. An ordinance cannot abridge or take away any of the fundamental rights.
12. Every ordinance issued by the President during the recess of Parliament must be laid before both the Houses of Parliament when it reassembles.
13. If the ordinance is approved by both the Houses, it becomes an act.
14. If Parliament takes no action at all, the ordinance ceases to operate on the expiry of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament.
15. The ordinance may also cease to operate even earlier than the prescribed six weeks, if both the Houses of Parliament pass resolutions disapproving it.
16. If the Houses of Parliament reassemble on different dates, the period of six weeks is calculated from the later of those dates.
17. The maximum life of an ordinance can be six months and six weeks, in case of non-approval by the Parliament as six months being the maximum gap between the two sessions of Parliament.
18. If an ordinance is allowed to lapse without being placed before Parliament, then the acts done and completed under it, before it ceases to operate, remain valid.
- The President can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.
- President’s power of ordinance-making is not a discretionary power.
- He can promulgate or withdraw an ordinance only on the advice of the council of ministers headed by PM.
- An ordinance like any other legislation, can be retrospective, that is, it may come into force from a back date.
- It may modify or repeal any act of Parliament including tax laws or another ordinance.
- But, it cannot amend the Constitution.
- The ordinance-making power not found in most of the democratic Constitutions of the world including that of USA, and UK.
- The Supreme Court ruled that successive repromulgation of ordinances with the same text without any attempt to get the bills passed by the assembly would amount to violation of the Constitution and the ordinance so repromulgated is liable to be struck down.
- It held that this exceptional power of ordinance cannot be used as a substitute for the legislative power of the state legislature.
15) Which of the following have acted as acting Presidents of India?
1) Dr. Zakir Husain.
2) Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah.
3) Varahagiri Venkatagiri.
a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 2, 3
Former Presidents are -
1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad - 1950– 1962.
2. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - 1962–1967.
3. Dr. Zakir Husain - 1967-1969 (Died).
4. Varahagiri Venkatagiri - 1969-1969 (Acting).
5. Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah - 1969-1969 (Acting).
6. Varahagiri Venkatagiri - 1969-1974.
7. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed - 1974-1977 (Died).
8. B.D. Jatti - 1977-1977 (Acting).
9. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy - 1977-1982.
10. Giani Zail Singh - 1982-1987.
11. R. Venkataraman - 1987-1992.
12. Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma - 1992-1997.
13. K.R. Narayanan - 1997-2002.
14. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam - 2002-2007.
15. Smt. Pratibha Patil - 2007-2012.
16. Pranab Mukherjee - 2012-till date.
- The current President is Pranab Mukherjee who is the 13th President of India.
- The ex-president, Pratibha Patil, who was in office till July 2012, was elected as the 12th President of India in 2007.
- She is also the first woman to serve as President of India.
- 7 presidents have been members of a political party before being elected.
- 6 of these were active party members of the Indian National Congress.
- The Janata Party has had one member, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who later became president.
- Two presidents, Zakir Hussain and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, have died in office.
- Their vice-presidents functioned as acting president until a new president was elected.
- Following Hussain's death, two acting presidents held office until the new president, Varahagiri Venkata Giri, was elected.
- Varahagiri Venkata Giri himself, Hussain's vice president, was the first acting president.
- When Giri resigned to take part in the presidential elections, he was superseded by Muhammad Hidayatullah as acting president.
16) Whose oaths include the statement ‘I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India’?
2) Union Ministers.
4) Judges of Supreme Court.
b. 1, 3
c. 1, 2, 4
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 2, 4
- The oath of the President includes ‘I will faithfully execute the office of President (or Discharge the functions of the President) 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 India.’
- All others have the format as ‘I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India’.
- Oath of Office and Oath of Secrecy is for Union Ministers (which includes the Prime Minister) and the state ministers (including Chief Ministers).
- Rest all have to take only the oath of office.