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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Veto Power of the President of India

  By GK Planet Team       Sunday, 24 December 2017

Veto Power of the President

Veto is a Latin term for “I forbid”. This provision of VETO was made in the Government of India Act, 1935. 
  The President of the Republic of India is the head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
  The President is indirectly elected by an electoral college comprising the Parliament of India (both houses) and the Legislative Assemblies of each of India's states and territories, who themselves are all directly elected.
  All bills passed by the Parliament can become laws only after receiving the assent of the President per Article 111. After a bill is presented to him, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill, or that he withholds his assent from it.
  As a third option, President can return a bill to Parliament, if it is not a money bill, for reconsideration. President may be of view that a particular bill passed under the legislative powers of parliament is violating the constitution, he can send back the bill with his recommendation to pass the bill under the constituent powers of parliament following the Article 368 procedure.
  When, after reconsideration, the bill is passed accordingly and presented to the President, with or without amendments, the President cannot withhold his assent from it.
  The President can also withhold his assent to a bill when it is initially presented to him (rather than return it to Parliament) thereby exercising a pocket veto on the advice of prime minister or council of ministers per Article 74 if it is inconsistent to the constitution.
  Article 143 gave power to the president to consult the Supreme Court about the constitutional validity of any issue.
  The President shall assent to constitutional amendment bills without power to withhold the bills per Article 368 (2).
  Thus, the President has the veto power over the bills passed by the Parliament, that is, he can withhold his assent to the bills.
  The object of conferring this power on the President is two-fold:
1.  to prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation by the Parliament and
2.  to prevent a legislation which may be unconstitutional.
  The veto power enjoyed by the executive in modern states can be classified into the following four types:
1.  Absolute veto, that is, withholding of assent to the bill passed by the legislature.
2.  Qualified veto, which can be overridden by the legislature with a higher majority.
3.  Suspensive veto, which can be overridden by the legislature with an ordinary majority.
4.  Pocket veto, that is, taking no action on the bill passed by the legislature.
Absolute Veto empowers the President to withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament. The bill then ends and does not become an act.

Usually, this veto is exercised in case of
1) A private member bill
2) If cabinet resigns before the assent by the President to the government bill and the new cabinet advises the President not to give his assent.

This is used in two instances.
a) In 1954, by President Dr.Rajendra Prasad in case of PEPSU Appropriation Bill.
b) In 1991, by President R.Venkataraman in case of Salary, Amendments and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill.

Pocket Veto empowers the President to simply keep the bill pending for an indefinite (no prescribed time-limit) period. The President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill.

This is used once by President Zail Singh in case of Indian Post Office (Amendment) bill in 1986. 
A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver that allows a president or other official with veto power to exercise that power over a bill by taking no action (instead of affirmatively vetoing it).
The main objective of conferring the veto powers on the President are
1) to prevent hasty and ill-considered legislation by the Parliament
2) to prevent a legislation which may be unconstitutional.

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