Supremacy of Executive

The Constitution of India is the lengthiest written constitution in the world, is drawn from different sources like Fundamental Rights from the American constitution, Directive principles from the Irish constitution, and the cabinet form of government from the British constitution. It also adopts certain provisions from the constitution of Canada, Australia, Germany, the USSR, and France. These features of the Indian constitution makes it unique. The Indian constitution was adopted on the 26th of November,1949. The conflict between the executive and parliament on one hand and the judiciary on the other became the reason for declaring a state emergency on 26th June 1975.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution does summarises the constitution and declare India as a Republic and being a Republic the head of the state is the president. Article 54 of the Constitution provides for the election of the president of India.


Indian Constitution is the base of the Indian government, it would not be unjustified to say that the Indian Constitution is the creator of the Indian government. The authority of 29 states and 7 union territories comes under the Union government of India. The Government of India does perform various functions such as creating, maintaining, and defending the law and order. To perform these functions the government of India has three different branches/organs which are-

  1. Executive
  2. Legislature and
  3. Judiciary

Executive Branch

The executive branch is responsible for state bureaucracy that is the implementation of laws is done by the executive branch. The executive branch at the Central level does consist of the President, Vice-President, and The Prime Minister of India and at the state level, the executive body consists of the Governor, Chief Minister, and Council of ministers. The executive powers of the state do lies in the hands of the governor of the state but those powers are exercised by the Chief Minister that is the constitutional head of the state is Governor but the real or the actual powers lie in the hands of the Chief minister.

President of India

The President of  India is considered to be the head of the state, the first citizen of the country, and a signatory authority of unity, integrity, and solidarity of India. He is elected by both the houses of parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) and the members of the legislative assembly of states and union territories.

Vice President of India

Vice president is the second-highest constitutional position in India after the president. He represents the nation in absence of the president, he is considered to be the ex-officio chairman of Rajya sabha.

Prime Minister of India

The Prime Minister is considered to be the chief of the Indian government and an advisor of the president too. He is the head of the council of ministers, leader of the majority party, and does allocate the posts to the members of the cabinet also referred to as cabinet ministry.

Powers and Functions of the President

There are certain powers and functions of the president namely-

  1. Executive powers
  2. Legislative powers
  3. Financial powers
  4. Judicial powers
  5. Diplomatic powers
  6. Military powers
  7. Emergency powers

Executive powers

All the executive actions are taken in the name of the president of India. He directly administers the union territories through administrators moreover he can declare any area to be a scheduled area and do have the power concerning the administration of the scheduled area or the scheduled tribe. In continuance of the power to administer the scheduled area, he can appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of the scheduled area (scheduled caste), scheduled tribes, and other backward classes.

The president of India appoints many officials including the governor of 29 states, Chief Justice of India, and other judges of the Supreme court and High court of India on the advice of other judges. He also carries the responsibility of appointing the Attorney general of India, Chief National Commissioner, and other members of the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC). The president is considered to be the Supreme Commander of the armed forces and appoints the country’s prime minister and cabinet ministers, moreover, he can seek the information from the prime minister too.

Legislative Powers

  • He can summon the parliament and can dissolve the Lok sabha.
  • He can summon the sitting of both the houses of parliament and can address the parliament at the commencement of the 1st session after each general election and the 1st session of each year.
  • He nominates 12 members of Rajya Sabha and can nominate 2 members from an Anglo-Indian community for the Lok Sabha elections.
  • He can promulgate ordinances when parliament is not there in the session that is he can pass the ordinances if required provided that both the houses are not in the session or either of the houses is not in session. The ordinance passed shall not be challenged further for amendments.

Financial  Powers

Prior recommendations of the president are required to introduce the money bill moreover the annual financial statement- the Union budget, is presented in parliament by the president only. The fund made for the unforeseeable expenditure is called as consolidated fund and if one requires to withdraw money out of this fund shall require the assent of the president. The members of the financial commitments are being changed every 5 years and the changes are done by the president.

Judicial Powers

The Indian constitution does separate the executive from the judiciary but still, the president appoints the Chief  Justice of India and the judges of the Supreme court and High court too. The president, in this case, is only signatory authority, the real powers lie with the hands of the judges of the Supreme Court. According to Article 143[1] of the Indian constitution, the president can take suggestions from the Supreme court on any question of law, provided that the suggestions given shall not be binding. According to Article 72[2] of the constitution, he can grant pardon, respite, and remission to the offender provided that the punishment should be-

  • Given by the court-martial
  • Is an offense against the Union laws
  • In all cases where the sentence is a death sentence.

Diplomatic Powers

All the international agreements and treaties between India and other countries are negotiated and conducted on behalf of the president however they are subjected to the approval of the parliament.

Military Powers

President is the Supreme Commander of all the armed forces and in that context, he holds the power to appoint the Chief of the army, air, and naval forces. He can declare war or can conclude peace too, provided that the approval of parliament should be there.

Emergency Powers                               

India is subjected to three emergencies namely-

  1. National emergency
  2. Financial emergency
  3. President’s rule

All the above-mentioned emergencies can be imposed or dissolved by the president. According to Article 352[3] a national emergency can be imposed, according to Article 360,[4]  a financial emergency can be imposed and according to Article 356[5] and 365[6] president rule can be imposed.

Veto Powers

 Veto powers refer o the power of giving refusal and the power is given to the president under Article 111 of the Indian constitution. When a bill is presented to the president by the parliament then he can-

  1. either give his accent
  2. can withhold his accent
  3. can return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for re-consideration by the parliament.

if the President withholds his assent to the bill it is said to be an absolute veto that is President is using his absolute veto power. If he returns the bill on the note for re-consideration for parliament then it is called as suspensive veto that is the president is using his suspensive veto power, moreover, once the bill is returned to the parliament on the note of re-consideration he cannot over-ride it. Another veto power is being given to the President called as “pocket veto”, here the President neither ratifies nor reject nor return the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an infinite period.


The preamble of the Indian constitution declares India to be a republic and therefore do appoints ahead of the state as a President that is president of India. President is considered to be the executive head of the state. The constitution under article 54 does provide that a president is indirectly elected in India by the electoral college including the members of both the houses of parliament and the members of the  State Legislative assembly according to the system of the proportional representation employing single transferrable vote by secret ballot.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who all are considered to be the members of the executive branch.
  2. Write a short note on President, Vice-president, and Prime minister of India?
  3. How many powers and function do the president of India have, name them?
  4. Explain the Executive powers of the president of India?
  5. Mention the Emergency powers of the president by citing a relevant article of the Indian constitution?

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