Legislative Powers of President of India

Legislative Powers of President of India

  • The parliament is composed of president, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha so, president of India is a inseparable part of Indian Parliament.
  • President has power to summon or prorogue the two houses of parliament. After a prorogation, the house must be summoned within 6 months.
  • The President may dissolve the Lok Sabha. (Rajya Sabha is never dissolved)
  • After the general Elections, president addresses both the houses of the parliament. He may address either house or even a joint sitting.
  • The President may nominate two members of Anglo Indian Community in the Lok Sabha if he feels that the community is not represented adequately. (Article 331)
  • President has power to nominate 12 members of Rajya Sabha if they excelled in Art, Literature, Science, Social Science, Culture etc. (Article 80)
  • A Bill passed by the parliament becomes an act only after president has given assent to it.
  • There are some bills which require prior recommendation of the President. This means these bills need to be introduced in the parliament only on the recommendation of the President. This bills are:
    • Bill that seek to alter the boundaries of the states and names of the states. (Article 3, we have already discussed this in our Union and Its territory Module)
    • Money Bill (as per Article 110) & Finance Bill.
    • Any bill which affects the taxation in which the states are interested (Article 274)
    • State Bills which impose restriction upon freedom of trade (Article 304).

Ordinance Making Powers of President

Parliament is not always in session and when it becomes necessary to have a law on some urgent public matter , the constitution via article 123 provides the power to the president to issue ordinances if he is satisfied with the circumstances of issuing such ordinance. Ordinances are promulgated when parliament is not in session.

The ordinance has similar effect to an act of parliament. However, every ordinance must be laid before both houses of the parliament within 6 weeks from the reassembling of the parliament. If it is not placed in parliament within 6 weeks from reassembly, it becomes invalid. If it does not get approval of parliament, it becomes invalid. However, it may be withdrawn by the president.

Maximum Possible Life of an Ordinance

An ordinance is in force as long as parliament does not meet. But, there cannot be a gap of more than 6 months between two meetings of parliament. Further, a time of 6 weeks is given after the parliament reassembles. So, 6 months + 6 weeks =71/2 months is the maximum life of an ordinance.

Judicial Powers of President: Power to Grant Pardon

Article 72 says that the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence. The meaning of these terms is as follows:

  • Pardon: Complete pardon
  • Reprieve: Temporary suspension of sentence
  • Respite: awarding less sentence
  • Remission: Reducing amount of sentence
  • Commutation: Changing one punishment to another.

Legislative Powers : The Power of Veto

In India the President can hold his assent to a bill in the following circumstances:

  • If it is an ordinary Bill

    In case of an ordinary bill or a bill got introduced by a private member and passed by both houses, the president can just keep the bill in his pocket and forget it. When president neither gives assent nor returns the bill, it is also called “Pocket Veto“. So, Pocket Veto is applicable to only ordinary bills. This is also called Absolute Veto

  • If it is a constitution amendment Bill

    The President of India enjoyed absolute veto on Constitutional amendment till 1971 only. The article 368 (2) before 1971 stated: ….it, shall be presented to the President for his assent and upon such assent being given to the bill , the constitution shall stand amended. However, the situation changed in 1971. The above clause was changed as follows by Constitution 24th Amendment Act, 1971: …..it, shall be presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill and thereupon. This means that now, Constitutional amendments cannot be questioned by the president or any court of law. However, the Basic Structure of the Constitution still remains under the Judicial Review, in case of such amendment violates the basic structure.

  • If it a money bill

    The President may either give or withhold his assent to a Money Bill. Under the Constitution, a Money Bill cannot be returned to the House by the President for reconsideration.



  • Diana

    there is so much clarity in all the notes. thank you. but hope this page had an index or an easy search option. very difficult to find the needed materials. But excellent materials nevertheless. Can an index be created? Thank you very much