President of India – Election, appointment and removal
The President of India is also known as de jure head (head by law), Nominal head or head of the state. Article 52 of the Indian constitution under part 5 creates the post for the President. Article 52 read as “There should be a president of India.” Before we start with the manner in which the President shall be elected, the first question came in our mind is that, what are the eligibility for a person to fight the election for the President.
- He/ She should be a citizen of India.
- The age should be more than 35 years.
- He/ She should be qualified for being a member of house of the people.
- As an eligibility criterion a person who contest the election for the president shall be eligible to be a member of House of people but if a person who is a member of House of people is elected as the president, shall vacate his seat in House of people with immediate effect.
- A person shall not hold any office of profit under the government of India or other authority subject to the control of any of the said government.
In the case of D. R. Gurushantappa v Abdul Khuddus Anwar and Others Supreme Court observed that “In the case of President or Vice-President, the disqualification arises even if the candidate is holding an office of profit under the control of Center or State government, whereas for a candidate for election to any legislature no such qualification is laid down. For a candidate for election to any legislature holding of office of profit under a corporate body like a local authority is not a disqualification.” AIR 1969 SC 744(750).
The President of India is indirectly elected by the electoral college consist of the elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and elected members of the State legislature assembly. For the election of president, the appointed members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and appointed members of the State legislature assembly are not eligible to vote. For the election of the President the definition of state shall include National Capital Region of Delhi and Pondicherry. In India the president is eligible to be re-elected by the virtue of Article 57 of the constitution (Till date out of the 14 Presidents of India only Dr Rajendra Prasad was re-elected.)
The election for the appointment of the next president should be done before the completion of the term of the President in office.
The election of the President shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be held by secret ballot.
The President is appointed by the same electoral college which elects him. Article 60 of the constitution talks about the oath that shall be administered to the President or a person who is acting as the President for some time, before entering upon the office. The oath is administered by the Chief Justice of India and in absence of him the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court available.
The process of removal of the president from his office is known as Impeachment. Article 61 of the constitution laid down for the procedure in which the President should be Impeached and Article 62 talks about what to do in case of vacancy of the office of President because of death or Impeachment. The President can be Impeached on the ground of violation of the constitution.
The process for Impeachment of the President
- The charges for Impeachment can be introduced in any of the House of Parliament.
- The proposal to prefer such charge should contained in a resolution which have to be moved 14 days before, in writing.
- The notice has to be signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of members of the house.
- Such a resolution should have to be passed by a majority of not less than two-third of the total member of the house.
- When the charges have been introduced in either of the house, the other house should investigate the charge or make the charges to be investigated.
- The President have the right to appear in investigation and also have the right to defend himself.
- If the charges against the President sustained, the resolution for Impeachment have to be passed by not less than two-third of the total number of members of the house by which the charges have been investigated or caused to be investigated.
- The resolution passed have the effect of removing the President from his office, from the date on which the resolution is passed.
In the case of Resignation or Death
If the President have to resign from his office, he has to submit his resignation to the Vice-President. In case of demise of President in office the Vice-President shall act as the President. In both the cases the Vice-President shall not act as the President for more than six months, within the limited time of six-month, new President have to be elected whose term will be of five year from the date he/ she enters upon his office.
This Article talks about the process of election, appointment and removal of the President of India. Till date none of the President have faced the Impeachment proceeding because of this Article 61 was never used. Dr Zakir Husain was the first President to die in office. After his death Vice-President V. V. Giri resigned from his office to contest Presidential election and won. From the day on which the constitution was adopted to this present date India have 14 President and 13 Vice-President. Out of the 13 Vice-President 6 of them later served as the President of India.
Author: Devanshu Jain,