President of India

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The supreme command of the defense forces of the Union is vested in the President but the exercise of the supreme command is to be regulated by law. The executive power of the Union is vested in the President. Yet he is intended to stand in relation to the Union administration substantially in the same position as does the king under the English Constitution. He is nominal or constitutional head of the Government. His position is not like that the President of the United States of America who is the real executive head and exercise the powers vested in him under the constitution on his own initiative and responsibility. In the context of the legislative executive relations established by the provisions of the Constitution, the presidential form of government as prevailing is America is ruled out and it is parliamentary type of government that is provided by the constitution of India. In estimating the constitutional position of the President of India the relevant provisions are Article 53, 74, and 75. Art. 53 vests the executive power of the Union in the President, but lie is required to exercise his powers in accordance with the constitution. Article 74 provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions. Art 75(iii) Jays down that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People. There is no provision in the constitution which makes the President answerable to the legislature. There was no doubt in the minds of the framers of the Constitution that they were setting up a parliamentary form of Government after the model of Great Britain. Dr. Ambedkar categorically stated in the Constituent Assembly "the President is merely a nominal figure head" that "he has no discrimination and no powers of administration at all" and that the President of India occupies the same position as the King of England. He was the head of the State but not of the executive. He represented the nation bus; did not rule the nation. He was the symbol of the nation, His place in the administration was that of a ceremonial device on a seal by which the decisions of the nation were to made known. Similar observations were made by Dr. Rajendra Prasad in the Constituent Assembly. According to him the position of the Indian President was that of constitutional head. Although there were no specific provisions in the constitution itself making it binding on the President to accept advice of his ministers, for hoped that a convention will be established in the country that the President will always act upon the advice of his ministers and thereby become constitutional head. The view of the late M.C. Setalvad, former Attorney-General of India, was that the position of the President of India was like the King of England and the Governor General in a Dominion. He could advise the ministers and influence their decisions but otherwise he was to act according to their advice. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru explained the position of the President in these words "We have not given our President any real power but we have made his position one of great authority and dignity." The executive power is vested in the President; he is only a formal or constitutional head of the Executive. The real power is vested in the Council of Ministers on whose aid and advice the President acts in the exercise of his functions. The Executive has the primary responsibility for the formulation of Governmental policy and its transmission into law. It is responsible for all its action to the legislature whose confidence it must retain. The basis of this responsibility is embodied in Article 75(iii). He can do nothing contrary to their advice nor can he do anything without their advice. The President's role as a figure head is reflected in his indirect election. If he were to be elected by adult franchise, then it might have been anomalous not to give him any real powers and it was feared...
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