In this article, we will discuss the Power and Functions of the President. So, let’s get started.
Power and Functions of the President
The powers enjoyed and the functions performed by the President can be studied under the following heads.
The executive powers and functions of the President are:
(a) All executive actions of the Government of India are formally taken in his name.
(b) He can make rules specifying the manner in which the orders and other instruments made and executed in his name shall be authenticated.
(c) He can make rules for more convenient transaction of business of the Union government, and for allocation of the said business among the ministers.
(d) He appoints the prime minister and the other ministers. They hold office during his pleasure.
(e) He appoints the attorney general of India and determines his remuneration. The attorney general holds office during the pleasure of the President.
(f) He appoints the comptroller and auditor general of India, the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners, the chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission, the governors of states, the chairman and members of finance commission, and so on.
(g) He can seek any information relating to the administration of affairs of the Union, and proposals for legislation from the prime minister.
(h) 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.
(i) He can appoint a commission to investigate into the conditions of SCs, STs and other backward classes.
(j) He can appoint an inter-state council to promote Contre-state and inter-state cooperation
(k) He directly administers the union territories through administrator appointed by him.
(l) He can declare any area as scheduled area and has powers with respect to the administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas.
The President is an integral part of the Parliament of India, and enjoys the following legislative powers.
(a) He can summon or prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha.He can also summon a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament,which is presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha
(b) He can address the Parliament at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year.
(c) He can send messages to the Houses of Parliament, whether with respect to a bill pending in the Parliament or otherwise.
(d) He can appoint any member of the Lok Sabha to preside over its proceeding when the offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant. Similarly, he can also appoint any member of the Rajya Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of both the
Chairman and the Deputy Chairman fall vacant.
(e) He nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service.
(f) He can nominate two members to the Lok Sabha from the Anglo-Indian Community.
(g) He decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament, in consultation with the Election Commission.
(h) His prior recommendation or permission is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament. For example, a bill involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, or a bill for the alteration of boundaries of states or creation of a new state.
(i) When a bill is sent to the President after it has been passed by the Parliament, he can:
(i) give his assent to the bill, or
(ii) withhold his assent to the bill, or
(iii) return the bill (if it is not a money bill)
for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament, with or without amendments, the President has to give his assent to the bill.
(j) When a bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the President, the President can:
(i) give his assent to the bill, or
(ii) withhold his assent to the bill, or
(iii) direct the governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature. It should be noted here that it is not obligatory for the President to give his assent
even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again to him for his consideration.
(k) He can promulgate ordinances when the Parliament is not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks from its reassembly. He can also withdraw an ordinance at any time.
(l) He lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, Finance Commission, and others, before the Parliament.
(m) He can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Ladakh. In the case of Puducherry also, the President can legislate by making regulations but only when the assembly is suspended or dissolved.
The financial powers and functions of the President are:
(a) Money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with his prior recommendation.
(b) He causes to be laid before the Parliament the annual financial statement (ie, the Union Budget).
(c) No demand for a grant can be made except on his recommendation.
(d) He can make advances out of the contingency fund of India to meet any unforeseen expenditure.
(e) He constitutes a finance commission after every five years to recommend the
distribution of revenues between the Centre and the states.
The judicial powers and functions of the President are:
(a) He appoints the Chief Justice and the judges of Supreme Court and high courts.
(b) He can seek advice from the Supreme Court on any question of law or fact. However, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court is not binding on the President.
(c) He can grant pardon, reprieve, respite and remission of punishment, or suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence:
(i) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial;
(ii) In all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against a Union law; and
(iii) In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
The international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President However they are subject to the approval of the Parliament. He represents India in international forums and atlairs and sends and receives diplomats like ambassadors, high commissioners and so on.
He is the supreme commander of the defence forces of India. In that capacity, he appoints the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force He can declare war or conclude peace, subject to the approval of the Parliament.
In addition to the normal powers mentioned above, the Constitution confers extraordinary powers on the President to deal with the following three types of emergencies:
(a) National Emergency (Article 352)
(b) President’s Rule (Article 356, 365), and
(c) Financial Emergency (Article 360)
Veto Power of the President
A bill passed by the Parliament can become an act only if it receives the assent of the President. When such a bill is presented to the President for his assent, he has three alternatives (under Article m of the Constitution);
He may give his assent to the bill, or
He may withhold his assent to the bill, or
He may return the bill (if it is not a Money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, the President must give his assent to the bill.