Legislative Powers of the President

The President being an integral part of Parliament enjoys many legislative powers.

These powers are given below:

The President summons, and prorogues the Houses of Parliament.

He/she may summon the Parliament at least twice a year, and the gap between two sessions cannot be more than six months.

The President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha even before the expiry of its term on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

In normal course he/she dissolves Lok Sabha after five years.

He decides on questions as to disqualifications of members of the Parliament, in consultation with the Election Commission.

The President nominates twelve members to Rajya Sabha from amongst persons having special knowledge in the field of literature, science, art and social service.

The President may also nominate two members of Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha in case that community is not adequately represented in the House.

The President can call a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in case of a disagreement between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on a non-money bill. So far thrice such joint sittings have been summoned.

The President has the right to address and send messages to Parliament.

The President addresses both Houses of Parliament jointly at the first session after every general election as well as commencement of the first session every year.

These addresses contain policies of the government of the day.

Every bill passed by Parliament is sent to the President for his/her assent.

The President may give his/her assent, or return it once for the reconsideration of the Parliament.

If passed again the President has to give her assent.

When a bill passed by a state legislature is reserved by the governor for consideration of the

President, the President can: [1] give his assent to the bill, or [2] withhold his assent to the bill, or [3] direct the governor to return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature.

It should be noted here that it is not obligatory for the President to give his assent even if the bill is again passed by the state legislature and sent again to him for his consideration.

Without his/her assent no bill can become a law.

The President may promulgate an ordinance when the Parliament is not in session.

The ordinance so issued has the force of law.

The ordinance so promulgated should be laid before both Houses of Parliament when they reassemble.

If it is neither rejected by the Parliament nor withdrawn by the President, it automatically lapses six weeks after the commencement of the next session of Parliament.

Generally a bill is moved by the Government to enact a law in place of the ordinance.