Powers & Functions of Indian President

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 03:05 -- Umar Farooq

Powers & Functions of Indian President

Following are the powers and functions of the Indian President

  1. Executive Powers
  2. Legislative Powers
  3. Financial Powers
  4. Judicial Powers
  5. Emergency Powers

Executive Powers

The supreme executive powers are vested by the President. He can directly exercise these powers and can do it through officers subordinate. As such all executive actions of the Government of India will be expressed to be taken in the name of the-President.

  1. He is responsible for the appointment the Prime Minister and on his advice other Ministers,
  2. He makes rules for the smooth and easy transaction of the government business and distributes work and portfolios among the Ministers,
  3. He has the power to make all important appointments like Governors of the States, Judges of the Supreme Court of India and High Courts of the Slates, the Auditor-General of India, Chairman and other members of the Union Public Service Commission, the members or the Election and Finance and other Commissions,
  4. He is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of India.
  5. He also has the power to send Ambassadors. Commissioners and other diplomatic agents to other countries and to receive Ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of foreign countries.
  6. He makes and negotiate treaties and can declare war and conclude peace,
  7. He governs the Union territories through chief Commissioners or Lieutenant Governors who are appointed by him.

Legislative Powers

The President is a part of the Parliament, which consists of the President and the two Houses. He summons and prorogues either House of the Parliament and dissolves the Lok Sabha. He nominates 12 members of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha). He addresses the Parliament when it first meets and at the first session of each year. He can send messages to either House of Parliament. In case of disagreement over a particular bill, he can summon a joint 'meeting of both Houses of Parliament. Every bill passed by Parliament must receive his assent to become an Act. He can withhold his assent and send it back to the originating House. If the bill is again passed by-Parliament, the President must give his assent. When Parliament not in session, the President can promulgate Ordinances which remain, enforced for 6 weeks. Certain State bills can be reserved by the Governor of a State for the assent of the President.

Financial Powers

The President causes the annual budget of the Union to be laid before Parliament. No demand for grant can be made except on the recommendation of the President. He has been authorized to distribute between the Union & the States shares from the Income Tax.

Judicial Powers

The President has the power to grant pardon, reprieves respites or reductions of punishment or to suspend and remit the sentence of any person convicted of any crime against the Union law or even sentence is of death.

Emergency Powers

The constitution has given vast emergency powers to the President. There are three occasions when he can proclaim "State emergency' viz

  1. Emergencies arising out of war of aggression or threat or both,
  2. Emergency arising out of failure or breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the states,
  3. Financial emergencies.

In the period of emergency the Federal Constitution is suspended and the State system becomes unitary, with the state subordinated to the Centre. Their autonomy disappears. During the period of such a proclamation, the state authorities are required to comply with such directions and to observe such financial policies as may be issued to them by the President.