What is the Role of the President of India?

In India, the Office of the President of India was established on 26th January 1950, under Article 52 , Part V of the Constitution of India.
What is the role of the President of India?

The role of the President of India has got a vast range of duties and responsibilities and the President of India has got the supreme power as the first Citizen of India.

The President of India has got the formal and conventional privileged rights and powers to:

  • Summon both the Houses of the Parliament of India and prorogue them and
  • Dissolve the Lokh Sabha,

according to the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister of India.

The President of India has got the privilege and powers and the responsibility to:

  • Inaugurate the Parliament by addressing after the General Elections and
  • At the beginning of the first session each year to outline the new policies of the government.

All the Bills passed by the Parliament (in both the Houses) will become ‘laws’ only after the approval of the President of India. The President has got the power to return any non-money bill for reconsideration. The President can also withhold any bill passed in the Parliament (in both the houses).

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.

In the event of a hung parliament, where no party has absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, the President will invite parties to command the required support and form the government. If the majority is still not achieved President can call for a new election.

The President will appoint the Prime Minister and the other members of the Council of Ministers, distributing portfolios to them on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The President is responsible and empowered to appoint:

  • Governors of States
  • The Chief Justice, other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India.
  • The Attorney General
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
  • The Chairman and other Members of the Union Public Service Commission
  • Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries.

The President will receive the credentials of Ambassadors and High Commissioners from other countries.

The President is the Commander in Chief and the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

The President can declare war or conclude a war , subject to the approval of parliament under the decision of the Council of the three Armed Forces Chief staffs, Military Secretary and President’s Officer.

The President of India can declare three types of emergencies:

  • national,
  • state and
  • financial.

Financial Powers of the President of India:

All money bills originate in Parliament upon the recommendations of the President of India.

The President will cause the Annual Budget and supplementary Budgets before Parliament.
And no money bill can be introduced in Parliament without the assent of the President of India..

The President of India will appoint a ‘Finance Commission once in every five years.

Judiciary Powers of the President of India

The president has got the powers to appoint:

  • the Chief Justice of the Union Judiciary and
  • other judges

on the advice of the Chief Justice.

No criminal proceedings can be initiated against the President of India during his/her term in office.

And the President of India is not answerable for the exercise of his/her duties.

Clemency Powers of the President of India 

The President of India has got the powers to grant a pardon to or reduce the sentence of a convicted person for one time, particularly in cases involving punishment of death, which is called ‘clemency’ powers

The decisions involving pardoning and other rights by the president are independent of the opinion of the Prime Minister or the Lok Sabha majority.

And mostly the President of India used to exercise his or her executive powers on the advice of the Prime Minister of India.

However, there is no time limit within which the President has to dispose of a Mercy Petition for granting a pardon or commuting a death sentence to life time imprisonment.

Can the President of India play his/her role a the Head of the Nation independently?:

As per the Indian Constitution, the President of India is:

  • the Administrative Head of the Government of India and
  • the first Man/Woman of India.

However, in practice, the President of India mostly may appear to be a mere head for the name’s sake nodding to the tunes of the ruling government.

In the past the President of India was referred to as a mere ‘rubber stamp’ affixing his/her assent to all the bills passed by the Parliament of India.

It depends on the person holding the post of the President of India to use the powers diligently and live up to the expectations of the Constitution of India.

In fact, the role of the President of India is having real independent and exclusive power to control the activities of the Parliament of India and the ruling government of India at the centre and the state governments.

During the times when the country is having a civil war or war against a neighboring country, the role of the President of India is vital.

Officially website :  www.presidentofindia.gov.in

Related Readings:
How is the President of India Elected?
List of Presidents of India since the year 1950 till date

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