Friday, April 28, 2017

Qualifications, Oath and Conditions of the Office of President

This article has been written by Sachin Vashisht for PADMAD.ORG with minor additions from Harshit Dwivedi.

In this article we will discuss about the qualifications that a person must hold to be elected as the President of India.

The president is the head of the Indian state and represents the country.

He is the first citizen of India and therefore, certain prerequisite conditions have been put in place to ensure that only worthy candidates are able to contest for this position.

For a person to be eligible for election as President of India, he should fulfill following qualifications:-

1. The candidate should be an Indian citizen.

2. The candidates should at least be 35 years of age.

3. The candidate should be qualified for election in the Lok Sabha.

4. Any candidate willing to contest the elections for President should not hold any office of profit under the union government, any state government, any local authority, or any other public authority or body. 

Therefore, a current President of India, the Governor of any state and a Minister of the Union Government or any State Government is qualified to contest the election for the President of India because these people are also not deemed to hold any office of profit.

5. For a person to be a candidate for election as the President, he must gain the support of at least 100 electors from the Electoral College. 

Out of the 100 electors, 50 electors must propose the candidate’s name for election and 50 other electors must support this proposition. 

This is sort of a screening method which has been put in place so that the person willing to contest the election of President has the support of a minimum hundred electors. 

This way, non-serious candidates are weeded out.

Another way in which non-serious candidates are weeded out is one according to which every candidate has to deposit an amount of 15000 rupees in the Reserve Bank of India.

However this security deposit is forfeited if the concerned candidate fails to secure even one-sixth of the total polled votes.

The amount of the security deposit was revised in the year 1997 from two thousand and five hundred rupees, to fifteen thousand rupees.

Oath or Affirmation by the president


Once a candidate has won the election by a clear majority securing the required quota of votes, he must make and subscribe to an oath before entering his Presidential office.

The President swears to:-

* Faithfully execute the office
* Preserve protect and defend the constitution and the law
* Devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of India

This whole ceremony of the president is conducted by the Chief Justice of India.

In case he is absent or unavailable, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court performs this duty.

Apart from a candidate who has won the election, any other person who is serving as acting president, or discharging the functions of the President takes the similar Oath.

Conditions of the President's Office

According to the constitution, following conditions have been laid down of the president's office:-

1. The President should not be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha or any other body of the state legislature.

If any such person who is a member of any of the above houses, is elected as president, then he is deemed to vacate his seat in the concerned house on the date he enters his office as president.

2. President should not hold any other office of profit.

3. The President is entitled the use of his official residence which is the Rashtrapati Bhavan without the payment of rent.

4. The President is entitled any such allowances and privileges as is determined by the Parliament.

5. The benefits and allowances of a President in the middle of his term of office cannot be diminished.

In 2008 the salary of the president was increased from fifty thousand rupees to 1.5 lakh rupees per month.

The pension of a President was raised to 50% of his salary per month.

Any former President of India is entitled to a furnished residence, phone facilities, car, medical treatment, travel facilities, Secretariat staff and office expenses as long as they are under the limit of 60000 rupees per year

The spouse of a deceased President is given a family pension which is 50% of the pension of retired president.

The spouse is also entitled to the same perks as a retired president.

Difference however is the office expenses must not exceed rupees 12000 per year.

The president is personally immune from legal liability for the actions of his office.

For the term of his office, the President is immune from any criminal proceedings even with respect of his personal acts.

This means that the President of India cannot be arrested or imprisoned.

However after giving a two months’ notice, civil proceedings can be introduced against the President while he is in office on matters of his personal acts.

Important articles related to the President of India


Article 52 of Part 5 of the Indian Constitution

President is the Head of the Indian State
President is the first citizen of India
The President holds all executive powers of the Indian Union

Article 53 of Indian Constitution

The executive powers of the President are exercised by subordinate offices either directly or indirectly

Article 54 of Indian Constitution

The president is elected by the members of the Electoral College.
The definition of the Electoral College is mentioned in this article.

Article 55 of Indian Constitution

This article describes the manner of election of the president stating that the president is elected indirectly by a secret ballot.

The election is held according to the system of proportional representation by the means of single transferable votes. This whole process I have already explained.

Article 56 of Indian Constitution

The term of the Indian President is five years from the date that he takes office.
He can give his resignation to the Vice-President under his own hand.
The President continues to hold the office until a successor is elected.

Article 57 of Indian Constitution

Re-election of the Indian President: - 

A person is eligible for re-election as the President of India any number of times that he wants.

Finally, Article 58 of Indian Constitution

This article talks about the qualifications of the election as President of India.

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