This article deals with election, power and removal of the president
explaining in detail about the process of impeachment of the President.
We are all aware that our Constitution is divided into 25 Parts and Part V of
the constitution deals with the 'Union Government' based on five chapters in
which Chapter 1 is the 'Union Executive' which deals with the 'President and
Prime Minister'. In this article, we are exclusively going to talk about the
President of India. The President of India is the constitutional head of the
Executive of the Union. We as students have always wondered about the role of a
president and what India's president actually is for.
The Indian presidency is
different from other presidencies in the world. Does the Indian president serve
a purely ceremonial role? Going by the words of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar,
chairperson of the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly of India,
under the draft constitution the President occupies the same position as the
King under the English Constitution. He is the head of the state but not of the
He represents the Nation but does not rule the Nation. He is the
symbol of the Nation. His place in the administration is that of a ceremonial
device on a seal by which the nation's decisions are made known.
The President of India holds many powers which include:
- Legislative Powers
- Appointment Powers
- Executive Powers
- Financial Powers
- Judicial Powers
- Military Powers
- Pardoning Powers
- Emergency Powers
So, considering the importance of the President in the Indian Parliamentary
system, it would be inappropriate to say that the President is merely a rubber
stamp.Now in this article, we are specifically going to deal with the process of
removal of the President.
When can the President be impeached:
Article 56 deals with the tenure of the president which is supposedly five years
- The president dies.
- The president resigns before the expiry of his tenure and the
resignation would be to the vice president, also the resignation must be
communicated to the Lok Sabha speaker by the vice president himself.
- The president is removed for the violation of the constitution and the
process of impeachment is discussed in Article 61 of the Indian
constitution. Impeachment of the president can be initiated by either house
of the Parliament. However, Violation of the constitution has not been
defined in the Constitution of India
- If the supreme court declares the election invalid.
Procedure for impeachment of President
Now coming back to Article 61, this article was introduced in 1948. Impeachment
symbolises a major incident, that occurred if the President of an Indian nation
violates the constitutional rule or fails to conduct any vital duty for the
progress of the nation. Article 61 specifically deals with the process of
removal of the Indian President.
Now to get a better insight into the impeachment of the president we will go
step by step:
- A notice in the form of a resolution can be brought before any house of
- The resolution must be passed and signed by at least 1/4th of the total
members of that house
- After its signed, then a written notice along with the copy of the
signature of the members supporting the impeachment is sent to the president
for him to know what are the allegation brought against him and at least
14days time is given to the president to present a defensive statement
- After that, a resolution has to be passed by a majority of not less than
2/3rd of the total membership of that house, in which the process of
impeachment was initiated.
- After the resolution is passed, the other house investigates the charge,
- As charges get investigated, the president has the right to appear and
- Now the other house which has investigated the charges shall have a vote
with a majority of 2/3rd of total membership of that house.
- If the other house shall have the effect of removing the president from
his office on the date when such resolution is passed by the Parliament.
Imprisonment of the President cannot happen. He is immune from any criminal
proceedings, even when it comes to his personal acts. Only civil proceedings can
be initiated for his personal acts, and that can be initiated by either house of
When a vacancy occurs in the office of Parliament, and the vacancy could be due
to vacancy, resignation, removal, death, or otherwise, the vice-president acts
as The President until a new President is elected. The vice president will be
entitled for all the perks and salary of the President. In case both the
President and the vice-president office is vacant, in that case the Chief
Justice of India serves as an acting President. The election for filling the
vacancy should be held within six months from the date of the vacancy.
Criteria For Filling Vacancy After Impeachment:
- If the term of office of the President has expired, then the election to
fill the vacancy shall be completed before the expiration of the term.
- In case of the death of the president, resignation, or removal the
election to fill the vacancy shall be held as soon as possible and in no
case later than 6 months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy.
- Subject to provisions to Article 56, the person elected to fill the
vacancy shall be entitled to hold office for the full tenure which is 5
years from the date in which he joins the office.
How is the president elected?
Unlike any election, the election to elect the president is very different.
There is no direct election for electing the President.He is elected by an
electoral college. The electoral college consists of only elected members:
- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
- Only legislative assemblies of the states and not legislative councils
- Legislative assemblies of the union territories
Article 51, Draft Constitution of India 1948:
- Draft article 51(article 62, Constitution of India) was debated and lays
down the procedure and conditions through which a vacancy will be filled.
- Though it came with two objections from the members. The first one was
mainly related to clause 2 of the article which dealt with the newly elected
President's term: a new president would serve for 5 years irrespective of
the term the last president served. According to the members, this would not
let the president's and parliament's terms run parallel. This in turn would
give the President an upper hand to influence elections to the parliament.
- Another member argued that the draft in terms of an interim period made
inadequate arrangements that lay the period between the removal/ death/
resignation of an old president and the election of a new president.
- The chairman responded to these concerns. He stated that there is no
valid reason why the new president should not hold office for 5years.
According to the Constitution, the conditions that one must complete to be
eligible to become the President of India, are given below:
- Nationality: He is an Indian Citizen
- Age: Is 35years or above
- Qualification: should qualify as a member of the House of People(Lok Sabha)
- A person will not be eligible if:
- He holds any office of profit under the Government of India or Government
of any state, any local authority to the control of any of the said
If the candidate meets all the above criteria, then the nomination will be
valid. The President of India is also eligible for re-election. Article 57 deals
with the provisions of re-election.
We have always wondered what life would be as President of India. Our country
has a parliamentary form of government but that does not mean that the President
does not play an important part in running the country smoothly. The president
is a vital part of the Union executive. And to top it all, the President has the
Ordinance making power. Article 123 deals with this power. Among all the other
legislative powers, this is one of them. The President enunciates an ordinance
on the recommendation of the Union cabinet. The purpose of impeachment is not to
punish individuals but it is to preserve the constitutional government.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Which article deals with the impeachment of the President?
Article 61 deals with the impeachment of the president
- Which President of India was impeached?
No president in India has been impeached, yet.
- What are the grounds to remove the President?
President can be removed only on the ground of violation of the Constitution,
however violation of the constitution has not been defined in the constitution
- What is Article 57 of the Indian Constitution?
Article 57 deals with the eligibility criteria for the re-election of the
President. Any person who holds, or has held the office of the President,
subject to other provisions of the constitution, is eligible for re-election.
- Which one of the following is not correct regarding the Presidential
Correct Answer: (4)
- Election of the successor must be held before the expiry of the term of
the incumbent President
- The President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date
on which he enters upon his office
- On the expiration of his term, he continues to hold office until his
successor enters upon his office
- President's election may be postponed on the ground that the electoral
college is incomplete
- Which of the following President appeared before the Supreme Court, when
the Supreme Court was hearing the election dispute of the President?
Correct Answer: (2)
- Dr. Zakir Hussain
- V.V. Giri
- Fakharuddin Ali Ahmad
- Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
- The President of India can be removed from his post by:
Correct Answer: (4)
- The Prime Minister of India
- Lok Sabha
- Chief Justice of India
- Which one of the following is a part of the electoral college but not of
the process of impeachment?
Correct Answer: (4)
- Lok Sabha
- Rajya Sabha
- State Legislative Councils
- State Legislative Assemblies
- How many days prior notice is required to be given for the impeachment
of the President
Correct Answer: (2)
- 7 days
- 14 days
- 21 days
- 30 days
Written By Divya:
A student of New Law College,Pune.