The President is the head of the Indian Union and is the supreme commander of the defense forces of India.
Qualifications for Election to the Position of President of India
- He should be a citizen of India.
- He should have completed thirty-five years of age.
- He should be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha.
- He should not hold any office of profit under the Government of India.
The President is elected for a period of five years. He can hold office even after the expiry of his term as a President till the election of a new President.
Vacation of Office
- The President can resign by submitting his resignation letter to the Vice President.
- The President can be impeached or removed from his office for gross misconduct or for violating the Constitution.
Election of the President of India
The President is elected indirectly by the members of the Electoral College. The Electoral College consists of
- The elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
- The elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies.
- Also Read The Union Legislature
- It is to be noted that the nominated members of the Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies are not part of the Electoral College.
- For choosing the presidential candidate, the name of the candidate should be proposed by 50 members of the Electoral College and has to be agreed upon by another 50 members.
Manner of Election
The election of the President is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by the means of a single transferable vote. Efforts have been made to maintain uniformity in the scale of representation of different states:
- The voting power of an elected member of the Legislative Assembly is calculated in proportion to the total population of the state and the number of total elected members of the Legislative Assembly.
- The value of the vote of the members of the Parliament is obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to the MLAs of the state by the total number of members of the Parliament.
Single Transferable Vote System
- In the single transferable vote system, all candidates are first listed and the electoral gives preference to these candidates. For example, an electoral may give first preference to candidate A and second preference to candidate B.
- If a candidate gets absolute majority, he is declared as elected. If no candidate gets majority, the candidate who gets the least number of votes is eliminated. This process of elimination continues until a candidate gets an absolute majority.
There are several reasons as to why the President is elected indirectly. These are
- The direct election of the President by the people of the country can make him a rival centre of power to the Council of Ministers.
- As mostly a party gets a majority in the Houses of the Parliament, election of the President by only the members of the Parliament could have made him a nominee of the ruling party. Then the President would not have been able to represent the states in India.
- The election of the President by an Electoral College consisting of the State Legislative Assemblies makes the President the elected representative of the whole nation.
- The President takes the oath of office in the presence of the Chief Justice of India.
Procedure for the Impeachment of the President of India
- For impeaching the President, a resolution can be moved after giving a fourteen days notice which should be signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of the members of the House.
- The resolution should be passed by a majority of at least two-thirds of the total membership of the House.
- The charge is then investigated by the either House of the Parliament and the President can appear and get represented during such an investigation.
- If after investigations, a resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds members of both Houses of the Parliament, the President is impeached.