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Constitutional Framework GS Paper II

President of India versus Prime Minister of India

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Appointments made by president President of India makes appointment to other constitutional officers and other important members of union government. These include:Prime Minister , Other ministers on advice of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Other Judges of Supreme Court on advice of the Chief Justice, Chief Justice and other judges of high courts, Chairman and other members of UPSC and Joint Public Service Commissions, Attorney General of India Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chief Election Commissioner and other members of election commission, Governors of states Administrators of Union Territories, Chairman and members of National Commission of Scheduled Caste, Chairman and members of National Commission of Scheduled Tribes Finance Commission, chairman and members Central Chief Information Commissioner Central Vigilance Commissioner, Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission Union Lokpal ,Chairman and its members on recommendation of selection committee.

Powers of President

The President of India has Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers. Some of the Executive powers of the Indian President are:The Indian President can award a person or decrease the verdict of an offended person, chiefly in cases concerning punishment of death. The president can assign governors of States, Attorney General, Chief Justice, Chief Election Commissioner, Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries. The President is also the chief of the Indian Armed Forces.T he India President is capable with legislative powers such as:He/ She commands both the Houses of the Parliament and also can postpone the same. A bill passed by the parliament becomes a law only when it is passed by the President. The President can dissolve the Lok Sabha. If it becomes necessary to have a law then the President can promote ordinances when the parliament is not in session. The President of India has Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers. Some of the Executive powers of the Indian President are:State Emergency: It is declared when there is failure of constitutional machinery in the state. National Emergency: It can be declared at the time of war, armed rebellion or external aggression. Financial Emergency: It can be declared if the Indian President gets the belief that the financial stability of the country is threatened.

Prime Minister

The prime minister enjoys the following powers as head of the Union council of ministers: 1. He recommends persons who can be appointed as ministers by the president. The president can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the prime minister. 2. He presides over the meeting of council of ministers and influences its decisions. 3. He can ask a minister to resign or advise the president to dismiss him in case of difference of opinion . 4. He allocates and reshuffles various portfolios among the ministers. 5. He guides, directs, controls, and coordinates the activities of all the ministers. 6. He can bring about the collapse of the council of ministers by resigning from office.

In Relation to the President

The prime minister enjoys the following powers in relation to the president: 1. He is the principal channel of communication between the president and the council of ministers. 2. He advises the president with regard to the appointment of important officials like attorney general of India, comptroller and auditor general of India, chairman and members of the UPSC, election commissioners, chairman and members of the finance commission and so on.

In Relation to Parliament

The prime minister is the leader of the Lower House. In this capacity, he enjoys the following powers: 1. He advises the president with regard to summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the Parliament. 2. He can recommend dissolution of the Lok Sabha to resident at any time. 3. He announces government policies on floor of the House.

Other Powers & Functions

In addition to the above-mentioned three major roles, the prime minister has various other roles. 1. He is the chairman of the Planning Com-mission, National Development Council, National Integration Council and Inter-State Council. 2. He plays a significant role in shaping the foreign policy of the country. 3. He is the chief spokesman of the Union government. 4. As a leader of the nation, he meets various sections of people in different states and receives memoranda from them regarding their problems, and so on. 5. He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies. He is leader of the party in power and the political head of the services.

PresidentPrime minister / Union cabinet
The duties of President under his oath is to protect, defend and preserve the constitution and the lawSwears allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, swears to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and swears to do right to all manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will (Third Schedule of the constitution)[6]
The oath is taken in the presence of the chief justiceThe oath is taken in the presence of the president
Elected in an extensive manner indirectly by the members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and state legislative assemblies in a secret ballot conducted by the Election CommissionElected indirectly by the Lok Sabha members and secret ballot is not mandatory.
Impeachment by parliament with majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of each house of the parliament for violation of the constitution as per Article 61Steps down upon losing majority support in Lok Sabha.
President can be removed by the supreme court per Article 71(1) for committing electoral malpractices and upon ceasing to possess the requisite qualifications to be presidentSimilar to prime minister and ministers also.
An individual heads the autonomous institution of PresidentUnion cabinet with Prime minister as its chief is collectively responsible.
President being head of parliament, Executive and supreme commander of armed forces is fully empowered by the constitution to fulfil his judicial responsibility. He can also take the expert advise of the Attorney General and also chief justice in performing his judicial role. It is the President’s duty to ensure that every state’s governance is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution under Articles 355 and 356Rest of the governance of the union and reporting to the president on all important matters. Being the leader of the majority/ ruling party in the parliament, union cabinet takes lead in lawmaking by the parliament needed for policy finalisation on various aspects, annual budgets finalisation, planning and implementation, etc.
President’s prime function is to prevent unconstitutional decisions of union and state governments and parliament or state assemblies by denying his compulsory assent/government orders (GO) for making them into applicable laws. He is the foremost defender of the constitution who can pre-empt the unconstitutional activities of executive and legislatures.Prime minister/Union cabinet shall aid and advise the president who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice as long as not unconstitutional. prime minister shall communicate to the president all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation and on President’s desire submit related information. No minister shall decide on any matter without the council of ministers/ union cabinet approval per Article 78.
President has constitutional immunity for his unconstitutional, mala fides activities during their tenure but liable for judicial action / punishment for his unconstitutional activity after the term of presidencyThe union cabinet has constitutional immunity from legal proceedings in any court for their mala fide and unconstitutional advice tendered by union ministers to the president per Article 74 (2).
President cannot escape from his constitutional duty by citing constitutional amendment to Article 74 (para 2 of 1) which makes him abide by the Union cabinet’s advice after sending for reconsideration. As clarified by the supreme court, the object of Article 74 (2) is only to make the question whether the president had followed the advice of the union cabinet or acted contrary thereto, non-justiciable. Refer page Article 74#Court cases for more clarityThe union cabinet may escape from the punishment or responsibility for implementing unconstitutional laws citing Article 74 (2).
President cannot be recalled by the people of India for not fulfilling his constitutional duties in case parliament is not impeaching the president or removed by the supreme court or resigns on his own on moral groundsPrime minister/ union cabinet cannot be recalled by the people of India till the end of his term in case he is not losing majority support in Lok Shaba or resigns on his own on moral grounds.

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