• Written By Chaitanyesh Rudracharya
  • Last Modified 19-07-2022

President of India: Know Powers, Roles

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President of India: The President of India is the nominal head of the country. The post of the President was created on the day India became a republic on January 26, 1950. As it came into existence, the offices of monarch and governor general  were dispensed with. The first President of India was Rajendra Prasad. 

The Constitution of India accords the highest priority to the President in safeguarding the Constitution. 

Powers Enjoyed by the President of India 

The President of India enjoys a lot of powers. Let’s take a look at what Dr BR Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution had to say about his role: 

“Under the draft constitution the President occupies the same position as the King under the English Constitution. He is the head of the state but not of the Executive. He represents the Nation but does not rule the Nation. He is the symbol of the Nation. His place in the administration is that of a ceremonial device on a seal by which the nation’s decisions are made known.”

Also Read: Know more about Draupadi Murmu 

The Legislative Powers 

Here are the legislative powers of the President: 

  • The real legislative power rests with the Parliament of India. The President is the head. As per article 78, 86, among others, the nominal head facilitates the process of lawmaking. The President has the power to summon both houses of the Indian Parliament, prorogue and even dissolve them.
  • Even as the Parliament passes a bill, it doesn’t become a law until the President gives the assent, as per article 111 of the Indian Constitution.  Additionally, the President also has the power to return the bill to the Parliament if the President is of the firm opinion that the bill violates the Constitution.
  • However, on the other hand, if the bill is sent back to the President’s office after reconsideration by the Parliament, the President can’t send it back again.  

Also Read: Introduction to the Indian Constitution

The Executive Powers 

Here is what Dr BR Ambedkar had to say about the President of India’s executive powers.  

“The President of the Indian Union will be generally bound by the advice of his Ministers. … He can do nothing contrary to their advice nor can do anything without their advice. The President of the United States can dismiss any Secretary at any time. The President of the Indian Union has no power to do so, so long as his Ministers command a majority in Parliament.” 

Essentially, it is the Prime Minister of India and the Union cabinet that should advise the President in the discharge of the duties. The Parliament has powers to grant additional powers to the President and then, the President can delegate it to the state governors. 

The Judicial Powers 

The President appoints the Chief Justice of India. Based on his advice, the President appoints other judges.  And if the Parliament thinks that a particular judge has to be impeached, the President has to give the assent. The Attorney General (AG) of India, who is the chief legal adviser to the Indian government, is also appointed by the President. The Constitution gives the right to the President to ask the AG to attend Parliament and submit a report if something is found fishy. 

The Appointing Powers

The President of India has the following appointing powers: 

  • The President appoints the Prime Minister of India. 
  • The President appoints the Chief Justice of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Chief Election Commissioner and State Election Commissioners.  
  • The President appoints the state governors. 
  • The President has the power to appoint ambassadors to other countries. 

The Military Powers 

The Indian President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The President can declare wars based on the aid and advice given by the Prime Minister. It is to be noted that all important treaties and contracts are made in the President’s name. 

Other Powers

The President has the power to grant pardons when a person has been given a punishment not in accordance with the Union law, or granted by a military court or can commute a death sentence. When it comes to emergency powers, the President can declare three types of emergency which are: National, State and Financial. 

Presently, the election to choose the next President of India is underway. The two candidates contesting are Droupadi Murmu and Yashwanth Sinha. 

We hope this article on the President of India gives you an insight into the topmost position in the country and the powers. For more such informative articles, keep visiting Embibe

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