Position of the President


The powers formally vested in him/her are actually exercised not by his/her, but by the Union Council of Ministers, in his/her name.

The Council of Ministers is responsible to Lok Sabha, and can be removed on its adverse vote only.

In practice the ministers do not hold office during the pleasure of the President.

The Constitution, 42nd Amendment Act has made it obligatory for the President to act only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

The President cannot act independently.

It is the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister which is the real executive.

In accordance with the 44th Amendment Act of the Constitution, the President can send back a bill passed by the Parliament for reconsideration only once.

If the bill is again passed by the Parliament, the President has to give his assent to the bill.

 

In the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had rightly said, “The President occupies the same position as the King in the British Constitution”.

But in reality the President of India is not a mere rubber stamp.

The Constitution lays down that the President has to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

The President can ask a newly appointed Prime Minister to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha within a stipulated period of time.

The President can ask for any information from any minister.

All the decisions of the Cabinet are communicated to the President.

The President is furnished with all the information relating to administration.

It is in this context that the utility of the office of the President comes to be fully realized when the President gives suggestions, encourages and even warns the government.

It is in this context, the President emerges as an advisor, a friend and even a critic.

By way of conclusion, we may describe the position of the President in the words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. According to him, the President is the Head of State but not the executive. The President represents the nation but does not rule over the nation. The President is the symbol of nation. His/her place in the administration is that of a ceremonial head.