India follows a parliamentary form of government since our constitution-makers were greatly influenced by the system in England. In the scheme of the parliamentary system of government, the President is the nominal executive authority and the Prime Minister is the real executive authority. In other words, the president is the head of the State while the Prime Minister is the head of the government. Prime Minister is the leader of the Cabinet Ministers.
The Union Executive extensively covers the President, Council of Ministers, and the Prime Minister.
Article 52 of the Indian constitution states that there shall be a president of India. President is the first citizen of the country. He is the head of the Union Executive and as well as the head of state of the Republic of India. The President of India is elected by an electoral college in an indirect election by a system of proportional representation through the single transferable votes and secret ballot. He represents the sovereignty of the country. President is also the commander-in-chief of the Indian armed force. The President performs essentially a ceremonial role.
Articles 58 and 59 of the Constitution of India lay down the qualifications for the office of the President of India. A candidate for the office of the President should be
- a citizen of India
- He/she must have completed a minimum of 35 years of age.
- He/she should not hold any office of profit under the Union, State, or local governments at the time of the election, nor should he/she be a member of either house of Parliament or state legislature.
Article 74 of the constitution provides that there shall be a Council of ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advice the President. The real executive power is exercised by The Prime Minister. He is the head of the government. The Prime Minister is known as the leader of the Lok Sabha in Parliament and as well as the chairman of the planning commission. The term of the office of PM doesn’t exceed five years. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of India.
To be eligible for the position of the Prime Minister of India, a person should:
- Be a citizen of India.
- Be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
- He/she should have complete 25 years of age if he/she is a member of the Lok Sabha or 30 years if he/she is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
A person cannot be the Prime Minister of India if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India, the government of any state, or any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said governments
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
There are a few articles in the Indian Constitution that enumerate the relationship between Prime Minister and the President. And the few articles are Article 74,75 and 78.
- There shall be a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act by such advice. The President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered by them.
- The Prime Minister prepares the list of Council of Ministers thereby the President is bound to appoint the Council of Ministers according to the list.
- Based on the advice of the Prime Minister, The President appoints the Attorney General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, The CJI and Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court, members of the UPSC, election commissioners, chairman, and members of the finance commission, and various other appointments.
- The Prime Minister acts as a bridge between the President and the council of ministers. He communicates to the President about all the decisions of the council of ministers regarding the administration of the affairs of the Union and suggestions for legislation.
- It is the duty of the PM of furnishing the information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for.
- Although the President has to act on the advice of the ministers, acting on ministerial advice does not mean immediate acceptance of the minister’s first thought. The President can state his objections to any proposed course of action and ask his Minister-in-Council, if necessary, to reconsider the matter. It is only in the last resort that he must accept their final advice.
- Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the house of the people for all the decisions of the cabinet
Other powers of PM in relation with the President
- The advice tendered by the Pm and COMs to the President shall not be inquired into any court that means no judicial review
- The Prime Minister advises the President regarding proroguing and summoning of Parliament sessions.
- He can recommend the dissolution of the Lok Sabha to the President at any time
Both are crucial for the smooth functioning of a democracy. As India is considered the largest democratic country so they both have a vital role to play in governance. President is a must in the Constitutional scheme and structure of India. The constitutional structure cannot be envisaged even for a short while without a President of India in office. The President is endowed with authority and dignity without adequate powers. Similarly, the Prime Minister is treated at a much higher pedestal. there are several open-ended questions to which the Constitution provides no answer. Though the Prime Minister is appointed by the President and holds office with the pleasure of the President, the Prime Minister is, in reality, accountable to the Parliament As we saw, there have been many disparities between the President and the Prime Minister, these did not conclude serious proportions culminating in any constitutional crisis. The President, on the whole, worked only as a constitutional head.
Author: Varsha Jayan,