The President of India is the official head of the country and the Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the President can exercise his powers directly or by any subordinate authority. However, executive authority vested in the President is, in practice, exercised by the Prime Minister with the help of the Cabinet. Here is a bird view of the powers and privileges enjoyed by the President of India.

Powers Pertaining to Administration:

Not being a real head of the executive like the American President, the Indian President does not have any administrative function to discharge nor does he has the power of control and supervision over the departments of the government. The various departments of government of the Union are carried on under the control of the respective ministers and the President remains the formal head of the administration.

The President of India has the power to

  • His ministers, individually
  • The Attorney-General of India
  • The Governor of a state
  • The chairman or a member of the Public Service Commission of the Union or of a state on the report of the Supreme Court
  • A judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court or the Election Commissioner, on an address of Parliament
  • Can impose emergency in state/country

Powers as Commander of Armed Forces:

The President is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The President can declare war or conclude peace, on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. All important treaties and contracts are made in the President’s name.

Powers over Legislation:

The legislative powers of the Indian President are varied and comprehensive. Like the English Crown, our President has the power to summon or prorogue the houses of Parliament and to dissolve the lower house. He can summon a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament m case of deadlock between them (Articles 85 and 108).

Powers In Matters Of Finance:

It is the duty of the President to cause to be laid before Parliament:

  • The Annual Financial Statement (Budget) and the supplementary statement, if any
  • The report of the Auditor-General relating to the accounts of the Government of India
  • The recommendations made by the Finance Commission, together with an action taken report
  • The report of the Union Public Service Commission, explaining the reasons for non-acceptance of the advice
  • The report of the special officers for Scheduled Castes and Tribes; Backward Classes and linguistic minorities.