Indian Constitution and Fundamental Concepts

The Union Executive and Legislature


Have you ever wondered how the various laws that govern our country were set up and who regulates their implementation? The Union Executive is the body that is set up to look into the implementation of the laws. Let us know more about the composition of the Union Executive and the Legislature as well as the powers and duties of its members.

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The Composition of The Union Executive

The Union Executive comprises of

  • President
  • Prime Minister
  • Council of Ministers

The president is the nominal executive whereas the Prime Minister is the real executive. Let us know about the qualifications, functions and powers of the members

The President

Qualifications of The President

  • Should be a citizen of India
  • Should have completed 35 years of age,
  • Should have qualifications similar to the members of the Lok Sabha.
  • Should be of sound mind.

Functions of The President

The functions of the President can be studied under two heads

  • Legislative Functions
  • Executive Functions

Legislative Functions

  • To summon, prorogue or dissolve the Parliament
  • To address the first session of the Parliament ( The ” Presidential speech”)
  • Nomination of 9 Anglo- Indian members to Lok Sabha and appoint 12 members of Rajya Sabha.
  • To access every bill to be passed by the Parliament and the power to withhold a bill. Also known as the ” Veto Power”

Executive Functions

  • All the administrative work is carried out in the name of the President
  • Appointment of Prime Minister and the Council of Members“`
  • Approval of members of Union Public Service Commission and National Commission for Women

Powers of the President

Financial Powers

  • Any financial bill has to go through the President before being presented in the Parlament.
  • Appointment of members of the Financial Commission and Planning Commission
  • Consolidated fund is in the name of the President

Judicial Powers

  • Pardoning the sentence of a convict declared by the Supreme Court
  • After consulting with the Chief Justice of India, the President appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and High Court.

Military Powers

  • He acts as the supreme commander of Armed Forces
  • The power to declare war or peace rests with the President
  • Appoints the Chief of Army, Navy as well as Air Force

Emergency Powers

  • Power to Declare National Emergency: When the security of the country is threatened due to war or external aggression, The President has the power to declare National Emergency in accordance with Article 352 of the Constitution.
  • Power to Declare State Emergency: In case of a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery, a ” President Rule” can be imposed by the State under the recommendations of the Governor of the concerned State in accordance with Article 356 of the Constitution.
  • Power to Declare Financial Emergency: If the financial stability and the prestige of a nation are threatened, President may impose financial emergency under Article 360 of the Constitution.

Prime Minister and The Council of Ministers

The Prime Minister is elected from amongst the members of the Lok Sabha amongst themselves. Under the Article 73 of the Constitution, He acts as the head of the Council of Ministers. He is the Head of the Government and is responsible for its actions.

Functions and Powers

  • Acts as a link between President and the Parliament
  • Recommendations to the President regarding the appointment of Ministers of the Cabinet
  • Acts as the Chairperson during the cabinet meetings
  • Enjoys a term of 5 years during which he has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha
  • Recommends the President to appoint the Heads of highest constitutional bodies, commissions, judges, Governers, Chief of Navy, etc.

The State Legislature and Legislative Council


The State Legislature comprises of the Governor and the two Houses namely, the Upper House and the Lower House. The Upper House consists of the Legislative Council and the Lower House consists of the Legislative Assembly. Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir follow a bicameral legislature while rest of the states follow a unicameral legislature.

The State Legislature consists of not let than 50 but not more than 500 members. They appoint a Deputy Speaker amongst themselves who acts as the Speaker of the Assembly.

Powers of State Legislature

Legislative Powers

  • Make Laws related to the subjects in the State List and Concurrent List
  •  Governor and both houses decide whether a bill can be passed or not

Financial Powers

The Money bill can be passed on after it is first presented in the Legislative Assembly. It can only be delayed for 14 days. The State Legislature does not hold the powers to reject it.

Administrative Powers

  • State Executive is responsible to the  Legislative Assembly
  • Council of Ministers are accountable to Legislative Assembly

Electoral Powers

It holds the power to elect the President, members of the Rajya Sabha, Legislative Council, Speaker and Deputy Speaker

Legislative Council

  • It is the Upper House of the State Legislature Assembly
  • Comprises of not less than 40 members

Solved Questions for You

Que: Who holds the power to pardon the sentence of a convict declared by the Supreme Court?

  1. The Prime Minister
  2. The Governor
  3. The State Legislature
  4. The President

Ans: The correct answer is option d. The President holds the power to pardon the sentence of a convict declared by the Supreme Court.

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