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The Executive, along with the legislature and the judiciary constitute an inseparable part of governmental machinery. The legislature makes laws and the most important task of reaching those laws to the people is undertaken by the executive. The Union executive in India comprises of the President, Prime minister and the council of ministers. The President being a figure head assumes an ornamental position and thats why he is called the nominal executive. The day-to-day administration is carried out by the PM and the council of ministers who constitute the real executive. Special powers to the President was not given on the ground that it not only creates dual centers of power but also, as Nehru said, looks ridiculous for the directly elected president not to have real powers. So the committee decided that the union executive must be a parliamentary executive and the president without any special powers, must act on the advice of the council of ministers.

Part V, Chapter 1, Article 52 to Article 62 of the constitution deals with the president of India. Art. 52 There shall be a President for the union of India Art. 53 the executive powers of the union shall be vested in the hands of the President. In India, the president is a nominal executive and discharges his duties as constitutional head of the state. 44th amendment curtailed the powers of the president and made him to act on the advice of the council of ministers.

QUALIFICATIONS : y y y y y y Must be a citizen of India. Must have attained the age of 35 years. Must have attained all qualifications that of a member of Lok Sabha. Should not hold an office of profit-national, state or local. Should not be of unsound mind or an insolvent or bankrupt Should abide by the constitution.

ELECTION : The president is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of members of 1. The members of Rajya Sabha and elected members of Lok Sadha 2. The members of the state legislative assemblies. The election rule for the president and vice president 1952, which was amended in 1974 sets forth the following requirements for a person to contest for the post of president. 1. A contestants name must be proposed and supported by 50 parliamentarians each. 2. They should deposit Rs. 1500/-; and 3. A declaration certifying that his/her name exists in the voter listing of his constituency is produced. FORMULA : Value of each MLA vote is calculated on the basis of : State Population 1000 X No. of state MLAs Value of each MP vote is calculated on the basis of : Total vote value of all MLAs Total members of Parliament

TENURE : The President is elected for a period of 5 years. But, he may continue till his successor assumes office. He is eligible for re-election on expiry of his term. But as a matter of convention, no president can contest for a third term, Babu Rajendra Prasad was the only President to hold the office thrice. If the office of the President falls vacant due to resignation, death or removal, the vice president will take over the responsibility till the new President takes over.

REMOVAL : The President can be removed from office by the process called Impeachment on the grounds of proven misbehavior and inefficiency. The motion can be initiated in either house of parliament. However, before impeaching the President a 14 days advance notice must be given of the said cause endorsed and signed by not less than of the members of the house. if the motion is sustained by a 2/3 majority of members present and voting, the President stands impeached and shall demit office.

EMOLUMENTS : The salary of the President is determined by parliament from time to time. Also entitled to rent-free accommodation (The Rashtrapathi Bhawan, spread over 400 acres, was built at a cost of Rs.1.40 crores), free electricity, transport, telephone, staff and other facilities. The salary and other benefits of the President of India is charged on the Consolidated Fund of India, under the Art. 267 of the constitution.

OATH : Art. 60 the President shall take the oath of the office in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.


Its a fashion to label the President as a rubber stamp and he does nothing but signing bills brought before him. Art. 75 when no party enjoys a majority, the power to appoint PM rests with the president. In case of sudden demise of PM, if the party fails to elect its leader, at the earliest, President may appoint a person of his choice as the PM. Art. 85 - If a government loses majority and recommends for the dissolution of lok sabha, its purely up to the president to dissolve the parliament or not. There are many occasions in recent times where the president has refused to give his assent. 1. Legislative Functions : y To summon, to prorogue, to dissolve the parliament. i.e. VV Giri dissolved the parliament a year in advance, on the advice of the PM Mrs. Gandhi in 1970. Similarly, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam dissolved the parliament a year in advance on the advice of the PM Vajpayee in 2004. y The President enjoys the power to address the parliament. The first session of the year is called presidential speech. Traditionally, this speech is prepared by the cabinet but read by the president. y If a dead lock arises due to non-agreement between two houses of the parliament, the president may call for joint session of both the houses. y The president may address Lok sabha / Rajya sabha or both any time and also may send a message to both the houses of parliament to look into a bill. y The president nominates 12 Anglo Indians to Rajya sabha and 2 to Lok sabha. y Prior permission of the president is essential while dealing with bills relating to formation of new states, alteration of boundaries and some special bills like the finance bills. y Veto power he enjoys the power to withhold a bill (not a finance bill).

2. Executive Functions : Art. 53 the executive powers of the state must be bested in the hands of the president. y All accords and agreements carried out in the name of the president. y The president has the power to call for any information from the govt. y The president appoints the PM and the council of minister on recommendation of the PM. y The highest constitutional functionaries such as CAG, CEC, CVC are appointed by the president. Also removes them. y The members of the UPSC, NHRC, BCC and NCW are appointed by the president. y The president can call for reports from SC & ST commission, LMC, BCC and other commissions. 3. Financial powers : y Obligation of the president to see that the Budget is placed before the parliament for approval. y Money bills cannot be presented in the parliament without the consent of the president. y The recommendation of the Finance Commissions and the Planning commission are placed before the parliament on orders of the president. And also appoints members to the same. 4. Judicial powers : y Art. 72 - He enjoys the power of pardoning the sentence of a person, reduce, change or altogether cancel the punishment, this power is called as Presidential pardon or clemency. E.g. president A.P.J Kalam refused to grant pardon to Dhananjoy Chaterjee who was given death sentence. But, president K.R. Narayanan granted pardon to Dhanu one of the accused in Rajiv Gandhis assassination.

y The judges of the Supreme court and High court are appointed by the president in consultation with the CJI. 5. Military Powers : y The president is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces. y Power to declare war or peace (parliamentary approval is essential). y Can raise funds for training and preservation of armed forces with prior approval of the parliament. y The Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air force are appointed by the president. 6. Diplomatic Powers : y Represents country in international affairs, he does not sign any treaties or agreements. y The ambassadors representing the country abroad are appointed by the president. No person can be considered an ambassador unless he is given the Letter of Accredition by the president. 7. Emergency Powers : y Art. 352 the president can declare internal emergency when there is a threat to Indias security due to war or external aggression. y Art. 356 - he may impose Presidents Rule when the law and order has completely deteriorated and it cannot be governed as per the constitution i.e., a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery. The presidents rule is imposed on the recommendation of the Governor of the state, it is not compulsory. y Art. 360 - the president will impose financial emergency when the financial stability and prestige of the nation is at risk. (However, the emergency bill should be placed before parliament within 1 month for its consent, otherwise its considered invalid).

Presidents of India 1. Rajendra Prasad 2. S. Radhakrishnan 3. Zakir Hussain 4. V.V.Giri (in charge) 5. Hidayatullah (in charge) 6. V.V.Giri 7. Fakruddin Ali Ahmed 8. B.D. Jatti (in charge) 9. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy 10. Gyani Zail Singh 11. R. Venkatraman 12. Shankar Dayal Sharma 13. K.R. Narayanan 14. A.P.J Abdul Kalam 15. Prathiba Patil 26 Jan, 1950 - 13 May 1962 13 May 1962 - 3 May 1967 3 May 1967 - 3 May 1969 3 may 1969 - 20 July 1969 20 July 1969 - 24 Aug, 1969 24 Aug, 1969 - 24 Aug, 1974 24 Aug, 1974 - 11 Feb, 1977 11 Feb, 1977 - 25 July 1977 25 July 1977 - 25 July 1982 25 July 1982 - 25 July 1987 25 July 1987 - 25 July 1992 25 July 1992 - 25 July 1997 25 July 1997 - 25 July 2002 25 July 2002 - 25 July 2007 25 July 2007 - Till date


Art. 63 of the constitution provides for the office of the VP. Constitution framers were influenced by the US constitution which provides for a VP who steps into the presidency whenever a vacancy occurs as a result of the death, resignation or impeachment of the president. The difference between US Vice-President and Indian VP is US Vice President becomes the president when the post is vacant, but in India VP becomes only an acting President, and new president has to be elected within six months.

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Must be a citizen of India 2. Must not be less than 35 years of age. 3. Must possess all those qualifications which can entitle him to become a member of the Rajya sabha.

4. Must not hold any office of profit in the union or state govt. 5. Must not be a member of either house of parliament or of any state legislature. ELECTION : He is elected by the members of both the houses of parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote system.

TERM : The VP is elected for five years. He is eligible for re-election. He may resign his office before the expiry of the normal term. His letter of resignation is to be addressed to the parliament. FILLING OF A VACANCY : In case the office of the VP falls vacant caused by death, resignation, removal or otherwise, an election shall be held as soon as possible but within 6 months. The person so elected shall hold office for a full term of 5 years beginning from the date he assumes the office. METHOD OF REMOVAL : He can be removed from his office by a resolution of the Rajya sabha passed by its members and agreed to by the Lok sabha. However, a notice of 14 days is required to be given to the incumbent against whom the proceedings of removal are to be intiated. SALARY : Parliament determines the salary of the VP from time to time. VP gets his salary and emoluments as being the ex-officio chairman of Rajya sabha. Other facilities are also enjoyed by VP like free residence, free medical aid, transportation, telecom services etc.

FUNCTIONS : VP performs a dual role : (a) VP of India (b) The Chairman of the Rajya sabha 1. Functions as the VP :- As such there is no function of VP. He is required to step in whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the President. E.g., VV Giri succeeded as President on the death of Dr. Zakir Hussain. Again, Sri B.D. Jatti assumed the charge as President on the death of Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Functions as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha :- He is not a member of the Rajya Sabha but acts as its ex-officio chairman. y He conducts the business of the house. y He maintains discipline and decorum in the house. y He has the power to take action against those who violate rules of procedure of the house. y He conducts the discussions and debates and members speak in the house with his permission. y He can cast his vote only in case of a tie.


Despite the fact that the VP has not been assigned any specific or special duties, he occupies an important dignified position. In the warrant of precedence he is next only to the president of India. His office can serve as a training centre for future presidents. Sh. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Sh. V.V. Giri, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma and Sh. K.R. Narayanan held this office before getting elected to the office of the President.


The parliamentary system of govt. divides the executive into two parts : i. ii. The Nominal or constitutional executive (The President ) The Real executive (Council of Ministers headed by PM)

Art. 74 There shall be a Council of Ministers with the PM at the head, to aid and advise the President.

Organization of the Union Council of Ministers

Art. 75 lays down the following six rules regarding the organization. a. The PM shall be appointed by the President and other ministers shall be appointed by the President upon the advice of the PM. b. The Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. c. The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the lok sabha. d. Before a minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oath of office and secrecy. e. The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be such as parliament may from time to time determine by law. f. Members who fail to obtain the membership of either house of the parliament within six months ceases to be a minister.

Formation of the Council of Ministers

The process of formation of the council of ministers begins with the appointment of the PM by the President of India. After every election to the Lok sabha, the President appoints the leader of the majority or the single largest group in lok sabha as the PM. In case no single party gets a majority in lok sabha, he appoints the leader of the single largest party in the lok sabha. The president can appoint the leader of a coalition group that may be formed ; or the leader who may get the support of other parties, which may decide not to join his govt. but agree to lend him support from outside. The president can appoint as PM the leader who in his opinion can command a majority in the lok sabha, as president Sanjeeva Reddy appointed Chaoudhry Charan Singh in 1979, as the PM. President can ask the PM to prove his majority within a month or two (max. 6 months time). In June 1991, the Congress I Parliamentary party elected Sh. P.V. Narasimha Rao as its leader, despite the fact that he was not a member of either house of the parliament. And he proved his majority in the lok sabha.

Appointment of ministers upon the recommendation of the PM

After the appointment of the PM, the president appoints other ministers upon his recommendation. The PM prepares the list of the persons whom he recommends for appointment as ministers. The president, acting upon the advice of the PM, distributes portfolios to the ministers. The PM is the sole judge to decide : who shall be a minister ? which portfolio a minister will get ? who will be a deputy PM or a cabinet minister or MOS or a DM ? According the article 75(e) only a member of either house of the parliament be appointed a minister. The PM can appoint a non-member also as a minister, but such a minister has to get the membership of either house within six months of his appointment.

Size and composition of the council of ministers

The decision in this respect rests with the PM. However, now it has been laid down that the maximum strength of the council of ministers cannot be more than 15% of the total membership of lok sabha. Usually a ministry has between 50 80 ministers. They are divided into : a. Cabinet Ministers :- The number is between 15-20. They constitute the cabinet the powerful policy making and decision making part of the council of ministers. They are the top level leaders of the party in power and happen to be close to the PM. b. Minister of State :- They are not the members of the cabinet. MOS either holds an independent charge of a small department or is attached to a cabinet minister. While the departments like Home, External Affairs, Defence, Finance, Agriculture have 2 or 3 ministers of state, the departments lke Civil Aviation, Information and Braodcasting, Labour Welfare, Surface Transport and Textiles is headed by MOS each.

c. Deputy Ministers :- They are helping ministers attached to the cabinet ministers or the MOS. No DM holds an independent charge of any department. His function is to help the minister under whom he works,

responsible to prepare answers to the parliamentary questions pertaining to their respective departments. d. Parliamentary Secretaries :- These are neither ministers nor are assigned any administrative work. Their function is to help the ministers in the parliament. These do not draw salaries. e. Deputy PM :- The constitution does not provide for the office of the Deputy PM. Its left to the will and wish of the PM to determine the office of Deputy PM. In 2002 P.M Vajpayee decided to make Mr. L.K.Advani as Deputy PM in his cabinet.

Powers and Functions of Union Council of Ministers

1. Executive powers : Art. 53 - Executive powers of the council of ministers, the President executives his powers upon the advice of the council of ministers. The cabinet formulates the policies which are to be submitted to the parliament for approval, gets the policies approved by the parliament, runs the administration of the union in accordance with the policies approved by the parliament, coordinates the working of different departments of the govt. 2. Legislative powers :The ministers are both the executive heads of governmental departments as well as the members of the parliament. They take full and active part in the deliberative, legislative, financial, electoral, constitutional and financial function of the parliament. If the lok sabha either passes a bill not supported by the council of ministers or rejects a bill supported by it, or rejects the budget of the cabinet, it is taken to be a vote of no-confidence against the ministry and the entire council of ministers resigns.

The president summons, prorogues or dissolves the parliament in accordance with the wishes of the cabinet. The cabinet can recommend to the president a dissolution the lok sabha. 3. Financial powers :The parliament is the custodian of national finances. The Budget is prepared by the cabinet (Finance Minister). The cabinet gets the Budget passed from the parliament by virtue of the support of the majority that it commands. Money bills can be introduced only in the lok sabha and only by the ministers. And modification of budget in possible only with the consent of the cabinet. Cabinet is the centre of gravity and the most powerful institution of the Indian political system.