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Indian Polity / Union Executive

Eligibility Criteria for President of India


    Article 52 says there should be a President of India. Article 53 says all the executive authority of Union of India shall get vested in the hands of the President. He exercises his powers on his own or with help of the officers subordinate to him. Article 58 talks about the eligibility criteria for President of India.

    Article 54 says about election of the President. It says the President of India should be elected indirectly by the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. He is elected by an electoral college containing the elected members of the Parliament and the elected members of State legislative assemblies. The elected members of legislative assemblies of Puducherry and Delhi are eligible to participate. They were made eligible in 1992 by the 70th Constitutional Amendment and it was effective from 1995.

    Qualification Required for President of India

    • He must be a citizen of India either natural or naturalized.
    • He should have completed 35 years of age at the date of notification for the election of President of India.
    • He should not have any proven criminal charges.
    • He should not hold any office of profit. However, certain public offices are exempted from office of profit.
    • He should not be declared as financially insolvent and he should be physically as well as mentally sound.

    Grounds for Vacancy of President of India

    • Completion of the tenure - The tenure of the President of India is generally 5 years. The new President of India has to be elected just before the completion of the normal tenure. When the Lok Sabha is dissolved and when the completion of term of the President happens, the same President continues regardless of the completion of 5 years that is he remains in office beyond 5 years, till the new the President gets elected.
    • Resignation - If the President resigns, there will be vacancy. While resigning from the office, he has to address it to the Vice-President. Then the Vice-President acts as President until the new President is elected. In case of simultaneous vacancies of both President and Vice-President, Chief Justice of India and in case of his absence, senior most judge of Supreme Court will act as the President.
    • Impeachment of the President - Article 61 talks about the removal procedure of the President of India known as Impeachment, which is a quasi-judicial procedure. The President will be impeached on the grounds of violation of the Constitution.
    • Invalidation of Presidential election by the Supreme Court.
    • Except for the first ground mentioned above if the vacancy occurs, the new President should get elected as early as possible but not greater than 6 months. Meanwhile, the Vice-President will act as President not beyond 6 months.
    • Justice Mohammed Hidayatullah is the only CJI of the Supreme Court who acted as the President of India because of the vacancies in the offices of President and Vice-President simultaneously.

    Impeachment of President of India

    The Impeachment motion against the President can be initiated in either House of the Parliament. Before such an initiation, a notice must be served to the President 14 days in advance. The notice must be signed by 1/4th members of the House. After that, the initiating House has to approve the motion by 2/3rd members of total members of that House.

    After that, the notice is transmitted to the other House. The other House will inquire on the allegations of the initiating House. Meanwhile, the President may plead his case directly or through his attorney. After that, if the second House also approves the motion with same majority, then President stands removed.

    In case of standstill between the two Houses in removing the President, the motion gets defeated and there will not be any joint session. So far, no President was removed but there was impeachment notice to then Presidents of India, V.V. Giri in 1969 and N. Sanjeeva Reddy in 1979. Both the notices were drawn back.

Extra Information

    Salary of President of India

    According to Article 59, Parliament decides the salary and allowances of President of India. The salary and allowances are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and it shall not be reduced at any time to his disadvantage while he is in the office. He is also eligible for the pension after retirement even if he is President for one day. The pension is half that of the salary. The salary of the President of India is taxable. He has no power to increase or decrease his salary.