Here are a few issues that need to be discussed regarding the manner of the Election of the President of India and his powers.
I want you to have a debate on these issues. I shall also be present during the debate. At the end of the debate, I am sure that you will have a clear understanding of the President’s role and powers.
Please note that questions are likely on this topic in the General Studies paper at the Prelims as well as in the Mains. Thus topic is also important in both Public Administration and Political Science. It would not be surprising if it comes in the Compulsory Essay Paper.
You can present the views of your friends , who are not students, of this Institute and if you wish even their names and colleges will be represented but under your name. The idea is to involve the entire community of students, teachers and the general public on this debate. But outsiders will not be allowed to participate directly. Tests will be given at intervals as the debate goes on.
Please remember debate and interaction among yourselves is vital for a proper understanding of this lesson
I shall start with a few issues and as the debate process pose a few other related issues.
So, participate. Remember that the whole world is watching you. Let them get an idea of your intelligence and let even foreign students understand that you are as good as they are. This site is regularly accessed in many countries according to Google Report.
1 .Elected Members of the State Legislative Assemblies no doubt participate in the election of the President, but the President acts on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers even in the case of State Subjects. One: enumerate these cases. Two: Does this not violate the Federal Spirit?
2. The Governor acts as the agent of the Centre. Often the States are not even consulted in the appointment of the Governor. And States have no power to demand the recall of a troublesome Governor. Is this not distasteful particularly when a party different from the one at the Union, is in power in the States. What is the remedy if the Governor goes directly against the wishes of the State Government? Does the President act as the arbitrator. In the long history of the Republic, the Governor acts on the orders of the President who in turn acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers at the Centre.
3. The removal through impeachment of the President is next to impossible. Parliament cannot even remove the Judges. The Chief Justice of India Mr. Balakrishnan argued that he was being harassed because he is a Dalit. Does a Dalit have immunity from impeachment if he is charged with corruption? Same is the case with the former Chief Justice of Karnataka Mr. Dinakaran. In the case of Justice Ramaswamy, coalition politics prevented the impeachment proceedings from being successful. He went scotfree. What is the remedy? What do you think needs to be done? With regard to the procedure of impeachment? With regard to political compulsions? If Judges escape what happens to the Rule of Law?
4. What happens if an existing State Government belongs to the same Party as the one at the Centre, but loses confidence of the State Legislative Assembly. If elections to the President are imminent, the Union Government advises the President not to dissolve the State Assembly but to keep it under suspended animation so that the State MLAs vote for the President? Is it not a travesty of democracy?
5. Again if it is clear that a particular state is against the Candidate who is backed by the Majority Party at the centre is unlikely to be supported by a State Assembly, the Union Government advises the President to dissolve the State Assembles thus depriving the State members from voting?
6. The point is not how successful the Constitution is in normal times. But times are not always normal. It was an abnormal situation when Smt. indira Gandhi rode roughshod and imposed the Emergency. What is the remedy if the President acts as the stooge of the majority party in the Centre.
7. Again if the President feels that the party composition is such that he cannot be impeached, he may ignore the Union Council. How far can the Judiciary be helpful in such a case?
8. When two groups are equally strong, and lay claim to power, the President can choose his favorite who can then win over some from the rival group promising them berths in the ministry. What will happen in such cases. Mr. Jagjivan Ram complained that he was not made the PM because he was a Dalit.
More questions will be added as the debate proceeds. Read book by Durga Das Basu (20th edition 2012) given to you pages: 175-202.
Please remember that competition is intense and so put your best foot forward. I would even he happy if you can discuss among yourselves using the e mail and present group views. In such a case please mention the names of all the members of your group.
More issues will be added as the discussion goes on.
Have you added any question of yours on any subject you wish in the blog: ‘Ask a Question’ We will make the best effort to answer you. Remember that ours is the only Institution with four Ph.Ds and other highly qualified persons to guide you.
All the best