What is the role of the Indian President?

The President of India has some major executive, legislative and military responsibilities to carry out as part of his/her role.

The President of India, though nominally in charge of the nation, is responsible for some very significant powers on his/her part, as and when the occasion demands so. Broadly, the president is accountable for seven major powers, which are as follows:

Executive Powers: The Article 53 of the Constitution of India allows the President to be duly informed about all the affairs of the state at a given point in time. He/she also reserves the rights to appoint or dismiss high constitutional authorities such as the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the state governors, the attorney general, the comptroller and auditor general (CAG), the chief commissioner and members of the election commission. Even the right of appointment and termination of apex authorites like the Prime Minister and the council of ministers, also rests with the President.

Legislative Powers: By the powers vested in him/her by the Constitution, the President of India needs to sanction all the laws and legislation passed by the Parliament. The President is the person who nominates the various members of the two houses of the Parliament. If there is a deadlock between the two houses of the Parliament, the President holds the right to summon a joint session to break the impasse. The budget session of Parliament typically begins with the President's address as well.

Military Powers: The Indian President is the head of all the armed forces of the country. India is liable to be at war, or make peace with any country, only at the nod of its President. Moreover, all the chief officers of the army, navy and air force are appointed by the President himself/herself.

Diplomatic Powers: The President of India is responsible for negotiating all kinds of treaties and agreements with other nations prior to their ratification by the Parliament. He/she is also liable to receive bona fide certifications of diplomatic representatives of foreign countries. Furthermore, various Indian diplomatic ambassadors and commissioners visiting foreign nations can do so only in the name of their President.

Judicial Powers: The President can influence the judicial ruling of any case hearing in any judicial court of India. He/she has the power to rectify judicial errors and grant pardons and reprieves from a designated punishment.

Financial Powers: The contingency fund of India is closely guarded by the nation’s President. The President also affects the presentation of audit reports before the Parliament and also has the right to receive the report of the finance commission. The President also reserves the right to act on any recommendations made by the finance commission, if he/she chooses to.

Emergency Powers: The emergency power vested in the President of India refers to his/her right of declaring an emergency in a particular state or the whole country, if he/she believes that the situation demands it. He/she can declare emergency in three kinds of situations:

  • If the country's security is endangered, either from external aggression or armed rebellion from within.
  • As a political emergency, in case if there is a constitutional or law and order breakdown in the country or an individual state.
  • In case of the financial stability of the country or any part of the country is being seriously affected.

At the juncture of declaring an emergency, the president can only do so after the prime minister and the cabinet recommends it in writing.

Therefore, the President of India enjoys a host of responsibilities that come associated with his/her designation. 

Add new comment

Plain text