Veto Power of the President – UPSC Notes

The President is an integral part of the Parliament though he is not a member of the Parliament. A bill, in order to become an act or law, has to pass from both the houses of Parliament (i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) and finally needs the assent of the President. When a bill is presented to the President for his assent, he has three options:
1. He may give his assent to the bill, the bill becomes an act;
2. He may withhold his assent to the bill or
3. He may return the bill ( if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, the President must give his assent to the bill.
A money bill is introduced in the house only after receiving the prior permission of the President. That is why, when a money bill is tabled to the President he does not return this bill.

Thus, the President has the veto power over the bills passed by the Parliament i.e. he can withhold his assent to the bill. The veto power enjoyed by the executive in modern states can be classified into the following four types:

  • Absolute Veto
  • Qualified Veto
  • Suspensive Veto
  • Pocket Veto

But our president has thee veto powers viz. Absolute Veto, Suspensive Veto and Pocket Veto.

Absolute Veto

It refers to the power of the President to withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament. The bill then ends and does not become an act. However, the main intention behind using this power is to delay the bill.

Suspensive Veto

It refers to the power of the President to return the bill to the parliament for the reconsideration of the bill. If the parliament passes the bill with or without amendments with a simple majority (i.e. the majority of all the members present and voting), the President is bound to give his assent to the bill.

Pocket Veto

In this case, the President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period. This power of the President not to take any action on the bill is known as Pocket Veto. The Constitution does not prescribe any time-limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent. In the USA, on the other hand, the President has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. So, the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the USA.

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Legislative Powers of the President

Executive Powers of the President