Polity Notes about The President of India : Articles 52-62
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Polity Notes about The President of India : Articles 52-62

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Polity Notes about The President of India : Articles 52-62

We are providing Indian Polity notes about The President of India for your preparation. The Indian President is the head of the state and he is also called the first citizen of India. He is a part of the Union Executive, provisions of which are dealt with Article 52-78 including articles related to President (Article 52-62). Under these articles, information on how a President is elected, his powers and functions, and also his impeachment process is given. Aspirants can refer to Indian Polity notes on the important topics for HCS 2021 from the below Article.

 

Art. 52:

The President of India:

There shall be a President of India.

Art. 53:

The executive power of the Union:

  1. The executive power of the Union shall be vested in President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the supreme command of the Defence forces of the Union shall be vested in the President and the exercise thereof shall be regulated by law.
  3. The President is the executive head of the Indian state.
  4. He is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
  5. He is the first citizen of India and occupies first position under the warrant of precedence.(Warrant of precedence indicates the hierarchy of positions occupied by various dignitaries attending a state function.)

 

Art. 54:

Election of President:

The President of India is elected by indirect election, by an electoral college, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote and secret ballot.

The electoral college comprises:

  1. The elected members of both Houses of Parliament
  2. The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States
  3. The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir. 

[ Note: Only elected members not nominated members participate.]

Article 55:

Manner of election of President:

Proportional Representation:

  1. It means that Parliament, on one hand and 28 states and 3 Union Territories on other hand are represented equally in electoral college. It means President is Head of Union and Head of State.
  2. The states are represented in electoral college in proportion to their population. Higher the population, higher is the value of their votes. So, value of vote of MLA of UP has highest value and that of sikkim the lowest.

Value of vote of an MLA of a state=

(Total population of the state/Total number of elected members in the State Legislative Assembly)*1/1000

[Note: Value divided by 1000 to decrease the value of a vote ,otherwise a large number will be difficult to calculate. Also population is considered as per 1971 census.]

Example: In Telangana

Number of Assembly seats= 119

Population= 1.57 crore

Value of vote of each MLA=(1.57 crore/119)*1/1000

=132

Total value of votes of all state MLAs= 119*132= 15,708

Value of vote of an MP=

Total value of votes of all MLAs of all states/Total number of elected members of both Houses of the Parliament

Example: In 2017,

Total value of votes of all MLAs= 5,49,495

Total number of MPs= 543(LS)+233(RS)= 776

Value of vote of each MP= 5,49,495/766= 708

Total Value of Votes of all MPs= 776*708= 5,49,408

Quota of Votes:

Under proportional representation,member who secures necessary quota of votes is declared elected.

Quota=(Total number of valid votes cast/Total number of seats to be filled +1)+1

=(Total number of valid votes cast/1+1)+1

[Note: 1 seat to be filled for President, so denominator=2]

Single Transferable Vote:

  1. It means that the elector has the right to indicate as many preferences as there are candidates. In 1st round of counting of votes,only 1st preference is considered and candidate securing majority of valid votes is declared elected. If this is not possible, then least preferred candidate is eliminated from the contest and their ballots are reopened and redistributed among other candidates based on next preference in those ballots. This process continues till a candidate is declared elected.
  2. Also known as “alternative vote system” as alternate preferences also taken into account(second best preference on ballot sheet).

Why Indirect Election for President?

Though it was criticised as going against democratic ideal of universal adult franchise, but it was supported because:

  1. Direct election by huge electorates means loss of time, energy and money.
  2. Also, President is only a nominal executive and real powers are vested in the Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister.

Art. 56:

Term of office of President:

 His tenure is 5 years from the date on which he enters the office.

President office may terminate within term of 5 years by:

  1. Resignation in writing to the Vice-President
  2. Removal for violation of the Constitution, by the process of impeachment.

Art. 57:

Eligibility for re-election:

A person who holds, or who has held office of President, shall be eligible for re-election as President.

Art. 58:

Qualifications for election as President:

  1. He must be a citizen of India.
  2. Completed age of 35 years.
  3. Qualified for election as a Member of the House of the People.
  4. Must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.

[Note: Following persons shall not be deemed to hold any office of profit,hence eligible

  1. The President and Vice-President
  2. The Governor of any State
  3. The Minister of the Union or of any State]

Other conditions to be fulfilled to contest?

  1. The nomination paper of a candidate has to be signed by at least 50 eligible voters as proposers, and at least 50 eligible voters as seconders.
  2. Eligible voters are MP’s and MLA’s.
  3. A voter cannot propose or second more than 1 candidate.

Art. 59: 

Conditions of President’s office:

  1. He shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of Legislature of any State, be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on date when he enters upon his office as President.
  2. He shall not hold any office of profit.
  3. He is entitled to the use of his official residence without any rent and also entitled to such allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law.[His salary=5 Lakh per month]
  4. His emoluments and allowances cannot be diminished during his term of office.[His Pension=2.5 Lakh per month ( 50% of his emoluments] 

Art. 60: 

Oath or affirmation by the President:

The President takes oath in the presence of Chief Justice of Supreme Court or, in his absence, the seniormost judge of the Supreme court available  “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and law”.

Art. 61:

Procedure for Impeachment of the President:

  1. It is a quasi-judicial procedure.
  2. The impeachment procedure can be initiated in either House of the Parliament.
  3. Charge cannot be preferred by a House unless-
    1. A Resolution containing the proposal is moved after 14 days’ notice to President signed by not less than 1/4th of the total members of that House. 
    2. The resolution is then passed by a majority of not less than 2/3rd of the total membership of House.
  1. Then other House of Parliament(called Investigating House) investigates the charges by itself or causes the charge to be investigated.
  2. Now, if other House also passes a resolution supported by at least 2/3rd of total membership of House, President stands removed from his office from date on which resolution is passed.

[Note: The President has the right to appear and to be represented at investigation to defend himself.]   

Limitations of Impeachment:

  1. President can only be impeached on grounds of ‘violation of constitution’ which is a vague term, not defined in Constitution.
  2. Members of Legislative Assemblies doesn’t participate in impeachment but they participate in his election. 
  3. Nominated members of Parliament have right to vote when resolution is under consideration but doesn’t participate in his election.
  4. The procedure and authority to investigate the charges against the President and definite time period are not specified. 

Vacancy in the Office of President:

Possible reasons:

  1. On expiry of his term of 5 years
  2. Death
  3. Resignation
  4. Removal by impeachment
  5. Otherwise, such as when election of the President is declared void by the Supreme Court or he becomes disqualified to hold the office.[Art. 65(1)]
  1. Art. 62(1):

When vacancy caused by expiration of term of sitting President,an election to fill the vacancy must be completed before the expiration of the term. Under Art. 56 (1)(c), to prevent “interregnum”(Time interval till which new President is appointed and term of initial President expired.),outgoing President must continue to hold office until his successor enters.

[Note: Vice- President can’t act as President in this case.]

  1. Art. 65(1):

If vacancy arises by reason other than expiry of term, an election to fill the vacancy must be held as soon as possible after, and before 6 months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy.Now, it is Vice-President who shall act as President.

  1. Art. 65(2):

President maybe temporarily unable to discharge his functions,then Vice-President shall discharge his functions until the date on which the President resumes his duties.

Art. 71:

Matters related to, or connected with election of President or Vice-President:

  1. Supreme Court decision is final.
  2. No such dispute shall be raised on the ground of any vacancy in electoral college which elected the President or Vice-President.
  3. If their election is declared void by Supreme Court, acts done by them prior to the date of decision shall not be invalidated.
  4. Subject to provision of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to regulate by law any matter relating to or connected with their election.

To be Continued...

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