14th President of India : Who is eligible for the post of the President of India?
The President of India is the most important part of the Union Executive, which also includes the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers.
Current President of India: Mr. Ram Nath Kovind. He is the 14th President of India, incumbent since July 2017. Previously he had served as the Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and was a Rajya Sabha MP from 1994 to 2006.
Who is eligible for the post of the President of India?
- He/She should be a citizen of India;
- He/She should have completed the age of 35 years;
- He/She should be qualified to be elected as a member of the lower house;
- He/She should not hold any office of profit i.e. should not be a government servant.
Election Process of President:
- The Election for the post of President in India is done by an Electoral College that includes elected members of both the Houses of Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and members of the State Legislative Assemblies.
- Nominated members of the Parliament and members of the State Legislative Councils are not included in the Electoral College.
- The election for this post is done by a single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
- The voting is done by using a secret ballot.
- To be elected as the President, a candidate must get more than 50% of the total valid votes polled. This is also known as Quota.
Oath: The President takes the oath of his office in the presence of the Chief Justice of India.
Tenure: The President has a term period of five years and is eligible for re-election. He/she can resign prior to the expiry of his term, or his office may fall vacant due to his/her death.
Privileges of the President:
- The President of India is not answerable to any court of law for the exercise of his functions.
- The President of India can neither be arrested nor can any criminal proceedings be initiated against him in any court of law during his tenure.
- A prior notice of two months’ time is to be given before initiating a civil case against him.
Functions and Powers of the President:
These are mainly divided into three categories-
- Executive powers
- Legislative powers
- Financial powers
Removal of the President:
President can be removed by impeachment, a quasi-judicial procedure, on the grounds of the violation of the Constitution. The Constitution has laid down a complex procedure for the impeachment of the President. He can only be impeached ‘for violation of the Constitution’.
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The procedure of impeachment of President of India:
- The resolution to impeach the President can be moved in either House of the Parliament after a notice has been given by at least one-fourth of the total number of members of the House.
- Such resolution must be passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total members of that House before it goes to the other House.
- The charges leveled against the President are investigated by the other House.
- The President of India has right to be heard or defend when the charges against him are being investigated. He may defend himself personally or through his counsel.
- If charges are accepted by the two-thirds majority of the other House also, the President stands removed from the office from the date the resolution is passed.
Vacancy of the Presidential office:
If the office of the President falls vacant either due to his death or resignation or impeachment, the Vice-President of India officiates it for a period, not more than six months.
The election must be held within six months. The newly elected President then holds his office for the duration of five years.
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