Powers and Functions of the President of India

Civics

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Executive powers of President

(1) Head of the Union Administration: All executive orders are issued in the name of the President. 
(2) Appointments of officials of the State: The President makes appointments to the key posts to run the government's administration. He appoints the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, the Chief Justice and the Judges of Supreme Court and the High Courts, the Governors of the States, Attorney General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General, Chairman and members of the UPSC, Chairman and members of the Planning Commission.

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Describe Emergency and its three types

An Emergency is ''a sudden unforeseen situation demanding immediate action.'' It is a situation in which the Head of the State (President) assumes extraordinary powers. Three types of emergency are national emergency, state emergency and financial emergency.

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Limitations of President

The President of India has limitations on his executive powers due to the Council of Ministers. Likewise, the Parliament also exerts certain limitations on the powers of the President. One such limitation is the approval of all proclamations of Emergency by the Parliament. If the Parliament does not approve them, they become null and void.

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Legislative powers of President

The President addresses the Sessions of the Parliament. The President has the power to address either House of Parliament at any time. He can send messages to either House of the Parliament. He summons and prorogue the Houses. He can dissolve the Lok Sabha and order fresh elections. He nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha. No Bill can become a law without the assent and the signature of the President. Under Article 123, the President can promulgate an Ordinance.

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A national emergency is imposed whereby there is a grave threat to the security of India or any of its territories due to war, external aggression or armed rebellion. Such emergency shall be imposed by the president on the basis of written request by the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister. National emergency has been imposed thrice in the country- in 1962 at time of Chinese aggression, in 1971 during the Indo-Pak war, in 1975 on the grounds of internal disturbances.

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Diplomatic powers of the President

India is represented on International forum by the President of India. He sends and receives ambassadors. All international treaties and agreements are concluded on behalf of the President subject to ratification by the parliament.

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Breakdown of constitutional emergency

Article 256 talks about the failure of constitutional machinery in state also known as the Presidents rule. If the president on Governors report or otherwise is satisfied that the situation has arisen that the government cant be carried in accordance with the constitutional provisions then, he may issue State emergency. President can declare emergency either by the report of Governor or he himself is satisfied that the situation is such that the emergency has to be imposed. During the state emergency the Union government has absolute control over the state except the judiciary.

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Financial powers of the President

No money bill can be introduced in the Parliament without the assent of the President. The ''Annual'' Budget of the Central Government is presented before the Lok Sabha by the Union Finance Minister only with the permission of the President. The Contingency Fund of India is at the disposal of the President. He can make advances out of it to meet unforeseen expenditure before the same is approved by the Parliament.

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Financial emergency

The President under Article 360 of the constitution has the power to declare financial emergency if he is satisfied that the financial stability or the credit of India or any part of its territory is threatened. It has to be laid before both the Houses of Parliament and ceases to operate at the expiration of two months unless meanwhile approved by the resolution of Houses. The President can reduce the salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons, including the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

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Military powers of the President

Article 53 vests the supreme command of the Armed Forces of India in the President. President of India can declare war or conclude peace, under the regulation by the parliament.

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Judicial powers of the President

 The President is not answerable to any court of law for the exercise of his powers. He can pardon or remit or suspend a sentence of punishment given by the court martial or a sentence of death passed by a court.

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Discretionary powers of the President

The President of India enjoys certain discretionary powers such as:
i) Appointing the New Prime Minister in case of death of the PM in office or in case of hung Parliament.
ii) When PM or any Minister loses the 'No Confidence Motion', its up to his discretion to dissolve the Lower house or to look in to the alternative government farming while life of Lok Sabha is intact.
iii) The President can dismiss Ministers in case the Council of Ministers loses the confidence of the House but refuses to resign.

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Emergency powers of the President

It is a situation in which the Head of the State (President) assumes extraordinary powers. The President of India can proclaim a state of emergency in the following cases:
National or general emergency, breakdown of Constitutional machinery, financial emergency.