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Election and Eligibility of president


Election and Eligibility of president
Election and Eligibility of president

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Article 73 stipulates that the executive authority of the Union shall extend to matters over which Parliament holds the authority to enact laws. This includes the exercise of such rights, authority, and jurisdiction as are vested in the Government of India by virtue of any treaty or agreement. Consequently, the executive authority aligns with the legislative powers of the Union.


The term 'executive authority' is not explicitly defined in the Constitution. In the case of Ram Jawaya Kapur v State of Punjab (AIR 1955 SC 549), it was remarked that executive authority typically refers to the residual governmental functions that remain after legislative and judicial functions are accounted for. 

 
 

The scope of executive authority is broad, encompassing the determination of governmental policies, initiation of legislation, maintenance of law and order, promotion of social and economic welfare, foreign policy matters, and more. Essentially, it involves the overall administration of the State.


The court further emphasised that while the executive cannot act against the provisions of a law, it doesn't necessarily require a specific law authorising its actions to function within its authority. The executive holds the primary responsibility for formulating governmental policies and implementing them into law as necessary. This involves both policy formulation and execution. 


For instance, when the executive formulates a policy to initiate a trade or business, legislative sanction may not always be required unless it involves expenditure of funds. 


Specific legislation might be necessary if the government requires additional powers beyond those granted under ordinary law.


In Moti Lal v UP Government (AIR 1951 SC 257), the court stated that executive authority must encompass all powers necessary to achieve the objectives of the Constitution. 


An act falls within the executive authority of the State if it isn't assigned to other authorities by the Constitution, doesn't contravene any law, and doesn't infringe upon the legal rights of the public.




Election of the President


The President is elected by an Electoral College through proportional representation using the single transferable vote by secret ballot. The Electoral College comprises elected members from both Houses of Parliament and elected members from Legislative Assemblies of States, including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Nominated members of Parliament or State Assemblies are not eligible for inclusion in the Electoral College.


Two fundamental principles govern this process:

  1. Ensuring uniform representation of different States at the election and maintaining parity between States as a whole and the Union.

  2. Equating the aggregate vote of the States in the electoral college with that of the entire country.


To achieve uniformity among States and parity between States and the Union, a formula determines the value or vote of each elected Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Each MLA's vote is calculated based on the State population divided by 1,000 multiplied by the number of elected MLAs. Similarly, each MP's vote is determined by the total vote value of all MLAs divided by the total number of Parliament members.


A candidate for the President's election must have ten proposers and ten seconders, as per the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952. The occurrence of vacancies in the Electoral College due to circumstances such as the dissolution of a State Assembly under Article 356 does not hinder or suspend the President's election process.


Term of Office


The President's term of office is five years from the date of assuming office, and they are eligible for re-election. The oath or affirmation is administered by the Chief Justice of India or, in their absence, the senior-most Supreme Court Judge, as per Article 60.


The oath or affirmation, as prescribed by Article 60, mandates the President to faithfully execute the office, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the law, and devote themselves to the service and well-being of the people of India.


Qualifications for Election as President


The Constitution specifies both positive and negative qualifications:


Positive qualifications include being a citizen of India, attaining the age of 35 years, and being eligible for Lok Sabha membership.


Negative qualifications include not holding any office of profit under the Government of India, not being a member of Parliament or State Legislature.

 
 

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