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The Union
Part V (articles 52 to 151) of the constitution deals with the union

The Union Executive (Part V, Article 52 to 78, chapter I): consists of the president, the
vice –president, the council of ministers and the Attorney general of India.

THE PRESIDENT: is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme
Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. In theory, the President possesses considerable power. With
few exceptions, most of the authority vested in the President is in practice exercised by the Council of
Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.

Electoral Procedure (Article54 & 55): the new president is chosen by an electoral
college consisting of the elected members of both houses of the Parliament and the elected
members of the State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha). The election is held in
accordance to the system of Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable
Vote method.

The number of votes assigned to a particular voter from a state assembly is decided as

Term (Article 56) : five years from t he date on which he enters his office ; may terminate
• By resignation in writing addressed to the Vice- President of India
• By removal for violation of the Constitution, by the process in impeachment.
Article 57: confirms that president is eligible for re-election to the office.

Qualification (Article 58) :

• Citizen of India
• Have completed 35 yrs
• Be qualified for election as member of the Lok Sabha
• Must not hold any office of profit under the Govt. or local authority
Condition Of Office (Article 59): president is not to be a member of either House of
Parliament or of a House of any State Legislature. If he is member of the parliament or state
Legislature, on his election as president, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in the
House on the date on which he enters the office of president. He should not hold any other
office of profit.
Emoluments (Article 59)::
The President receives a salary of Rs. 1.5 lakh month. However, almost everything that the
President does or wants to do is taken care of by the annual Rs 225 million (US$ 4.6 million)
budget that the Government allots for his or her upkeep.

Oath / Affirmation (Article 60): The President or person acting as president is to take an
oath in the presence of the Chief Justice of India or in his absence. The senior –most judge of the
Supreme Court.


The President may be removed before the expiry of his/her term through impeachment .A
President can be removed for violation of the Constitution. The process may start in either of the
two houses of the Parliament. The house initiates the process by leveling the charges against the
President. The charges are contained in a notice that has to be signed by at least one quarter of the
total members of that house. The notice is sent up to the President and 14 days later, it is taken up
for consideration.

A resolution to impeach the President has to be passed by a two-third majority of the total
members of the originating house. It is then sent to the other house. The other house investigates
the charges that have been made. During this process, the President has the right to defend
himself/herself through an authorised counsel. If the second house also approves the charges
made by two-third majority again, the President stands impeached and is deemed to have vacated
his/her office from the date when such a resolution stands passed. Other than impeachment, no
other penalty can be given to the President for the violation of the Constitution.

No President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the above provisions have never been

Vacancy (Article 62)

In the event of a vacancy created for the President's post due to death, resignation, removal, etc.,
Article 65 of the [Indian Constitution] says that the Vice President will have to discharge his
duties. The Vice President reverts to his office when a new President is elected and enters upon
his office. When the President is unable to act owing to his absence, illness or any other cause,
the Vice President discharges the President's functions for a temporary period until the President
resumes his duties.
When the Vice President acts as, or discharges the fu
nctions of the President, he has all
powers and immunities of the President and is entitled to the same emoluments as the President.

Parliament has by an enactment made provision for the discharge of the functions of the
President when vacancies occur in the offices of the President and of the Vice President
simultaneously, owing to removal, death, resignation of the incumbent or otherwise. In such an
eventuality, the Chief Justice
Justice, or in his absence, the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court of
India available discharges the functions of the President until a newly elected President enters
upon his office or a newly elected Vice President begins to act as President under Article 65 of
the Constitution, whichever is the earlier.

Powers And Duties

Constitutional role of the Indian Constitution states, "There shall be a President of India". Article 53(1)
53(1 vests in the
President the executive powers of the Union which are exercised eit either
her directly or through subordinate officers
in accordance with the Constitution. Although the Constitution explicitly says that the president is the executive
head of the state, real executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.
Minister This
is inferred from Article 74 of the Indian Constitution, providing for a "... council of ministers to aid and advise the
President who shall, in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice".

Executive Power (Art 77) Military Power ( Art 53)

appoints PM, othr union mins, - supreme command of Armed force;
General, Comptroller & declare war or conclude peace
Auditor -Gen.
Gen. judges of HC & SC, Gov.
of State ,UPSC chairman & also can
Legislative Powers
remove dem ;right to inform ed of all
the imp decisions -summons both houses of the Parliament and
prorogues; dissolve the Lok Sabha; A bill that the
Parliament has passed, can become a law only
Diplomatic power after the President gives hisassent to it.(
reconsideration, except money bill)
represent s India in international
forums, sends & receives ambassadors (
sub to ratification of Parliament Judicial Powers
- to grant power, reprieve or remission
of punishment; only authority for
Financial powers pardoning a sentence of death(Art 72)
Budget is laid before the parliament in the name
of Prez;Money bills can be introduced in the
Parliament only on the prior recommendation of
the President; apppoints Fin. Commission Emergency Powers
certain extraordinary power

The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the executive branch of the
Government of India after the President. The Vice-President also has the legislative function of acting as the
Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

The current Vice-President of India is Hamid Ansari who was elected on 10 August 2007.

Article 63 of the Constitution of India provides for a Vice-President: "There shall be a Vice-President of
India". While the Indian Vice-President could be elected for any number of terms, the Constitution
requires that the Vice-President must be a citizen of India. The qualifications for Vice-President are the same as
those for President.

The Vice-President acts as President in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the President, until the
Electoral College chooses a new President. The Vice-President may also act temporarily as President during the
absence or illness of the President.

An electoral college consisting of all the Members of both Houses of Parliament elects the Vice-President for a term
of five years whenever the office becomes vacant.

The constitution also provides a mechanism for the removal of the Vice-President (Article 67(b)) by a vote of the
majority of the votes of all the members of both Houses of Parliament.

THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS: the real executive authority of Union is

exercised by the council of Ministers.

Appointments: Prez appoints the PM. and the Prez on the advice of the PM appoints other
ministers {Art 75(1)}. There is no bar on the appointment of a person from outside the legislature
as Minister, but he cannot continue as Ministers for more than six months unless he secures seat
in either House of Parliament A minister who is member of one house has right to speak in and to
take part in the proceedings of the other House – though he has no right to vote in the House of
which he is not a member .
Composition : the Cabinet of members is not specified in the Constitution . While the
constitution does not classify the Council of Ministers into different ranks, it has been done
informally : @ the centre – Cabinet Ministers and @ at state level – deputy ministers..
The Cabinet : it is the cabinet , an inner body within the council , which shapes the policy
of the Government. Cabinet Ministers hold charge of key portfolios.
Collective Responsibility : council of ministers is collectively responsible to the
House of the People {Art 75(3)} . The Ministry, as a body, is under a constitutional obligation to
resign as soon as it loses the confidence of the Loksabha. A vote of no confidence against any
Minister automatically, leads to the resignation of the entire Council. The Ministry, instead of
resigning, can advise the Prez to dissolve the Lok Sabha on the ground that the House does not
represent the views of the electorate faithfully. A corollary of the principal of collective
responsibility is that of intra- cabinet responsibility expressing the solidarity of the cabinet.
Individual Responsibility: the constitutional stipulation is that the Ministers shall
hold office during the pleasure of the Prez. {Art 75(2)};i.e. though collectively responsible to the
Legislature, they are individually responsible to the Executive and may be dismissed even if they
enjoy the confidence of the legislature.
Legal Responsibility: the system of legal responsibility of minister is not prescribed in
the Indian Constitution. If a Secretary to the Govt. of India authenticates the Prez.’s act, no
Minister can be held legally responsible for it even though he may have advised it.
Powers: The council minister formulates and implements the policy of the country. It
introduces most of the imp Bills and resolutions in Parliament and steers them through. prepares
and present the budget to parliament for its approval; determine foreign policy of Govt. ; render
advice to Prez. regarding proclamation of emergency.
Prime Minister’s Position: “key stone of cabinet arch” “first among the equals “. His
resign causes not merely a vacancy but the dissolution of the council of minister; Hs a right to
supervise all other departments.
Prime Minister And President: (Art78 ) : Duty of PM
To communicate the Prez. All decisions of the council of the ministers relating to administration
of the Union

To furnish such information relating to the administration of the union or legislation may call for
if the Prez so requires to submit for the consideration of the council of Ministers any matter on
which a Minister has taken a decision but which has not been considered by the Council.


First, law officer of GOI; appointed by Prez. ; must have qualification as are required to be a
judge of the SC.

His duties are : to give advice on such legal matters and to perform such other duties of legal

Character as may be assigned to him by the Prez.

To discharge the functions conferred on him by the constitution and the laws in force ( Art76)

Not a member of the Cabinet but he has the right to speak in the house of Parliament; not right to
in it (parliament)