Functions and Powers of the President of India

By | March 9, 2016
  • The executive power of the Union is vested in the President of India and all executive functions are carried out in the name of the President (Article 53 & Article 57).
  • He has the power to appoint the Prime Minister of India and on his advice to appoint other ministers of the Union (Article 75).
  • He also appoints, the Attorney General of India (AGI); Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG); Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts; the Governor of a State or the Lieutenant Governor or Chief Commissioner or Administrator (Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Pondicherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chief Commissioner for Chandigarh, Administrator for Dabra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) of a Union territory; members of the Union Public Service Commission and Joint Commission; for a group of States, the Chief Election Commissioner and other members of the Election Commission; Finance Commission, a Commission on official language; a special officer for the SC/ST area; Commission to investigate the condition of Backward Classes and special officer for the SC/ST area; Commission to investigate the condition of Backward Classes and Special Officer for linguistic minorities.
  • The president is the supreme commander of the defence forces. however the parliament can regulate military powers (Article 53).
  • All treaties and international agreement are negotiated and concluded in the name of President of India through subject to ratification by Parliament. president receives and sends Ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives.
  • President of India has power to summon and porogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha (Aricle 85).
  • The President of India can call a joint session in case of a conflict between the Houses on ordinary bill (Article 108).
  • President addresses the Houses of Parliament separately or jointly after each general election and at the first session, each year (Article 87).
  • Certain bills require prior approval of the President for introduction in the parliament. These are Money Bill, financial Bill of first class, Bill for the recognition of new State, or alteration of State boundaries or a State Bill for imposing restriction on freedom of trade and commerce.
  • The President enjoys Veto power (pocket veto), which can be used for withholding bill for any time (Article 111).
  • President may promulgate ordinances under Article 123 except when both the Houses are in session.
  • Ordinance issued under Article 123 must receive approval of Parliament (both the houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) within six weeks of the reassembly of the Parliament.
  • The President causes to lay before the Parliament certain reports. these are, report of Comptroller & auditor general, recommendations of Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission Report, Report of Special Officer  of Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward castes and linguistic minorities.
  • The president has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions or punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentences of any person in all case. The President is the only authority to grant pardons in case of death sentences on the advice of Council of Ministers (Article 72).

Power’s of President of India under Article 72

Power Feature
Pardon Completely absolves the offender
Commutation Substitution of one form of punishment to lighter form
Remission Reduction of the amount without changing its character
Respite Awarding a lesser punishment on special ground e.g. pregnancy
Reprieve Temporary suspension of death 

Powers of the President of India during Emergency

President has been given extraordinary power to declare emergency to meet any kind of threat to the country. Constitution provides three types of emergencies provisions:

  1. National Emergency: Due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion (Art. 352).
  2. State Emergency: Due to failure of Constitution machinery in States (Art. 356).
  3. Financial emergency: due to financial instability (Art. 360)