The President of India is the head of the state. He is the first citizen of India. The President acts as the symbol of unity, integrity, and solidarity of the nation. The articles 52 to 78 in part V of the Indian Constitution deals with the Union Executive. Let’s discuss the powers and functions of the Indian President.
1. Executive Functions of the Indian President
All the executive actions of the government are taken in the name of President. He appoints the prime minister and other ministers. He also appoints attorney general, comptroller and auditor general, chief election commissioner, the governors, the chairman and members of UPSC, the chief justice of India etc. He directly administers the Union territories. He can make rules for business transactions of the union government. He can seek any information relating to administration.
2. Legislative Functions of the Indian President
President is an integral part of the Parliament of India. He has the power to dissolve Lok Sabha. He can summon for the joint sitting of the both the Houses of Parliament. He nominates 12 members of Rajya Sabha. These members are persons with excellence in the field of science, arts, literature, social service etc. He also nominates 2 members to Lok Sabha from Anglo-Indian community. His prior permission is needed to introduce certain types of bills in the Parliament. When the bill is sent to the President, he has three choices-
(a) He can give his assent to the bill.
(b) He can withhold his assent.
(c) He can return the bill for reconsideration.
However if the bill is passed again by Parliament with or without the changes, President has to give his assent. The President plays same in state legislature also but it is not obligatory for President to give assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again to him for his consideration. He can appoint any member of Lok Sabha to preside over its proceedings when the offices of the speaker as well as deputy speaker fall vacant, similarly in Rajya Sabha. 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 lays the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, UPSC, Finance Commission and others before the Parliament.
3. Financial Functions of the Indian President
The money bills can be introduced in the Parliament only with the prior recommendation of the President. He lays the annual financial statement before the Parliament. No demand for a grant can be made except his recommendation. He forms a finance commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of revenue between the center and the states.
4. Judicial Functions of the Indian President
He appoints all the judges of the supreme court and high courts. He can take advice from the Apex court of any legal issue but the advice is not mandatory for the President. The President can grant pardon, reduce the punishment. He can also suspend the sentence of death. He can do so in all the cases where punishment is by court-martial or it is against a Union law.
5. Diplomatic Functions of the Indian President
The international treaties and agreements are acknowledged on behalf of the President. The President represents our country in international forums and affairs. He sends and receives diplomats for better global relations and image of our country.
6. Military Functions of the Indian President
The President is the supreme commander of the defense forces of India. He appoints the chiefs of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force. He can declare war and conclude peace. He is however bound to the advice of the Parliament.
7. Emergency Functions of the Indian President
The President of India has emergency powers except for his normal powers. The constitution provides extraordinary responsibilities during three types of emergencies-
(a) National Emergencies- Ar 352
(b) President’s Rule- Ar 356 &365
(c) Financial Emergency- Ar 360
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