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President and Vice President – Powers under the Indian Constitution

Amartya Sharan


President and vice president of India along with the prime minister, cabinet of ministers and the attorney general of India together make the union executive. Part V of the constitution of India deals with all the power and functions of them. We can say that the main member of the executive is the president of India. He is the supreme chief commander of all the forces of the country and also the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary. The president of India is also addressed as the first citizen of the country. Article 52 of the Indian constitution states that there shall be a president of India. All the business that is happening in the country is done in the name of the president of India only.


In Article 58 of the Indian constitution, all the qualifications that a person needs to become the president of India are explained very clearly. The first criterion that a person needs to fulfil is that he/she is a citizen of the country. The minimum age limit that is required to become president of India is 35 years. A person that is eligible to become the member of Lok Sabha is only eligible to contest election for the office of president.


The process that is used to elect the president of India is specified in Article 54 of the Indian constitution. The members of the Electoral College have the right to cast their vote in the presidential election. It consists of members of both the houses of parliament and the state legislative assemblies. The voting is done by a system of a secret ballot; there is a proportional representation of votes that is transferred by a single transferable vote. In our country, a system is developed that takes care that every state gets equal representation, because there was variation in the area of different states.

Term of Office

The term of office of the president of India is 5 years; it is given in Article 56 of the Indian constitution. Even if the period of his office is ended he shall have to continue in the office until his successor arrives. The president before completing his term can resign from the office by communicating the same to the vice president of the country. The vice president has to communicate the same to the speaker of the Lok Sabha in the specified period. The president can also be removed by impeachment given under Article 61 of the constitution. This can only be done in the case of violation of the constitution.

Powers of the President

The president of India has many kinds of power such as Executive power given under the Article 53 of the constitution, military power under Article 53, diplomatic power, legislative power, an ordinance making power under article 123 of the constitution, judicial power and pardoning power given under Article 72 of the Indian constitution. Under Article 53 the president has the power to appoint the prime minister and his cabinet of ministers, the president also appoints the judges of Supreme Court and the high court, the president also appoints all the governors of the state, the attorney general and the Comptroller and Auditor General. The president also has the power of removal of all the governors and the council of ministers. The president is also called as the supreme commander of all the armed forces of the country. He has the power to appoint the chief of the army and the officers in the army. Even if there is any war between two countries the war is started with the name of the president in India. Article 123 of the Indian constitution also gives a special power to introduce an ordinance to the president. The president can introduce an ordinance if neither of the houses of the parliament was in session and he or she thinks that it is in the need of society then he/she can bring an ordinance. Article 72 of the constitution also gives the power of pardoning to the president. The president can pardon a person in court-martial case, the case which falls in the ambit of union executive and in the case of the death penalty.

Impeachment of the President

The president of India can be removed through impeachment from his office, under Article 61 of the Indian constitution. The president can only be impeached on the charge of the violation of the constitution. There must be a resolution which needs the consent of one- fourth of the total members of the house on which such charge is there. To impeach a president the resolution needed to pass by both the houses by a two-third majority. If the resolution is passed by one of the houses then the other houses will investigate on that matter after that only it will pass the resolution. If both the houses pass the resolution then it will result in removing the president from the office.

Vice President

The Vice President of the country is also known as the ex officio chairman of the council of the states. He is also appointed for the period of 5 years, given under Article 67 of the constitution. We can also call him the second-highest dignitary of the county. He also presides over the proceeding of the Rajya Sabha. Under the Article 65, it is said that when due to any circumstance there is a casual vacancy in the office of the president then the Vice President has to act as the president of the country in that period. In the said period he is entitled to get all the services of the president of the country. He must be a citizen of India to become the vice president of the country. Minimum age required is 35 years and he must not hold any office of profit. Even if he is a member of any house then he must have to vacate his seat before joining the office of vice president. Election of Vice President is also done through the Electoral College but in this election, only the members of both the houses will cast votes not the members of state assemblies. He takes an oath in the presence of the president of the country. The Vice President of the country can be removed by passing a bill with an effective majority in Rajya Sabha and after that by a simple majority in Lok Sabha. Before passing the resolution from the Rajya Sabha a 14 days’ notice has to be given to the Vice President.


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