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Constitutional Framework GS Paper II

President versus Chief Justice of India

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PresidentChief Justice of India / judiciary
The duties of President under his oath is to protect, defend and preserve the constitution and the lawSimilar to president to uphold the constitution and the laws (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
Impeachment by parliament with a majority of not less than a two-thirds of the total membership of each house of the parliament for violation of the constitution as per Article 61.Removal from office by each house of the parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that house and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that house present and voting on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity as per Article 124(4)
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 president.President cannot remove judges once appointed by him without impeachment process per Article 124.
An individual heads the autonomous institution of President.Judiciary/supreme court is also an autonomous institution represented by a team of supreme court judges with chief justice as its chief.
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 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 356.Chief justice/supreme court is also empowered by the constitution to repeal the unconstitutional activities of parliament and executive only after a fair trial.
President’s prime duty is to prevent unconstitutional decisions of union and state governments and parliament or state assemblies by denying his compulsory assent 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. The other duties of President are just ceremonial as head of the country which are attached to him for being protector, defender and preserver of the constitution. The institution of President becomes redundant if the president is confining to other ceremonial duties only.Can intervene or nullify the unlawful actions of union/state governments and unconstitutional laws enacted by the parliament or a state legislative after presidential assent only.
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 presidency. However, per Article 361 (1), President is answerable to a court designated by either house of the parliament with a two-thirds majority for the investigation of a charge against him under article 61.Chief justice/judges of supreme court are also immune from punishment for not delivering correct judgements or for their incompetence and mala fides. However, Judges’ verdict can be repealed by a higher level bench of other judges.
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.Chief justice/judges of supreme court also cannot be recalled by the people of India in case parliament is not impeaching the judges.


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