Powers and functions of the President of India as per the Indian Constitution

Article 53 (1) of the Constitution of India vests all the executive powers of the Central Government in the President of India who is authorized to appoint the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the person who has the major support from the members of the Lok Sabha. The President in consultation with the Prime Minister further appoints the Council of Ministers and gives them their roles and responsibilities. The Council of ministers is under a obligation of retaining the support of the Lok Sabha.

The President is also vested with the power of appointing various executives.  They are:

  1. The Governors of the States
  2. The Attorney General
  3. The Chief Election Commissioner and the Election commissioner
  4. The Ambassadors and the High Commissioners to the other countries of the world
  5. The Chief Justice, the other justice of the Supreme Court and the High Courts
  6. The Chairman and the other members of the Union Public Service Commission
  7. The Auditor General and the Comptroller

The Arm forces also regard the President as the de jure commander of the arm forces. He is the one who can reduce the punishment of death sentence.  President is also bestowed with the power of receiving the credentials of the various High commissioners and the Ambassadors of the foreign countries.

The powers of the President:

Judicial powers of the President: Not only that the President of India can  appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he can also appoint the other judges in due consultation with the Chief Justice.  The dismissal of the judge by the President comes into effect if both the Houses of the Parliament have a consensus ad idem with 2/3rd majority.

Legislative powers of the President: The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President.  This powers can be used y the President after due consultation with the Council of Ministers as the nature of the powers is formal. The assent of the President is vital as it enforces a bill to be a law despite being passed by the Parliament.  If the Bill is not a money bill then it can be sent back to the Parliament for reconsideration. If the Parliament sends the bill for the assent of the President for the second time, he has to assent to it. Various ordinances can be promulgated when the parliament is not in session. The validity of these sessions is for 6 weeks from the date of conveying the same to the Parliament in the next session provided the Parliament approves it.

Emergency powers of the President: There are three kinds of emergencies when the President can exercise his powers.

In case of a National Emergency: National emergency can take place in various scenarios like an armed rebellion, an outbreak of war. For instance: 1977 emergency for internal disturbance and 1962 emergency during Indo-China war.In other case, where the Prime minister and the Council of Ministers submit a written  request for the same  under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution and must be assented by the Parliament within a span of one month. 6 months is the period for imposition of this emergency and can be extended to another six months with the approval of the Parliament.

In case of State Emergency: This kind of emergency is known as the President’s Rule which comes into existence when there is a failure in the constitutional machinery of the State. The Governor of the State needs to send a report for  the proclamation of such an emergency and the President must be satisfied by the report of the Governor. The Parliament needs to approve it within 6 months for a span ranging between 6 months to 3 years under Article 356 of the Indian constitution. For instance: The Presidential rule was imposed in Karnataka on 9th October 2007.

In case of Financial Emergency: If there are any instances where the financial stability or an economic situation poses a danger to the country , the President can impose the financial emergency under Article 360 of the Indian constitution. The financial and the state emergencies continue to exist until revoked by the President.

Diplomatic powers of the President: The President is the execute head of the country and needs to conclude all the treaties and agreements even when such duties are carried out by the Prime minister and his cabinet. The approval of the Parliament is essential in case of such treaties. The President is the whole and sole representative of the country on international forums and can receiver foreign dignitaries also.

Military powers of the President: The President is authorized to appoint the chiefs of all the three wings of defense (army, navy and air force). He is also authorized to declare war or conclude peace with the approval of the Parliament.

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