Discretionary power of President and Governor
Discretionary power of President
Constitutionally, the President of India has the right to be informed of all vital issues and deliberations of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is Obliged to furnish all the details that the President of India may ask for.
The President of India often writes the Prime Minister and expresses his/her view on the matters that confront the country.
Apart from the above things, there are three situations where the President can exercise the power using his/her own discretion.
First Discretion Power
The President can send back the advice given by the Council of Ministers and also ask the council to reconsider their decisions. By doing so, the President acts on his/her own discretion.
This is done when the President feels that the advice has some flaws or legal lacunae or thinks that their advice might not good for the best interest of the country. In these cases, the President can ask the Council to reconsider their decisions.
But the council can still send back the same advice. Then the President would be bound by that advice and such request by the President to reverse the decision would carry a lot of weight.
Second Discretion Power
Every bill passed by the Parliament of India goes to the President for assent before it becomes law. The President has veto power by which the President can withhold or refuse to give assent to bills passed by the parliament other than the money bills.
The President of India can send back the bill to the Parliament to reconsider it. But this ‘Veto Power’ is limited. This is because if the Parliament passes the same bill again and sends it to the President of India.
Then the President has to give his/her assent to the bill. But there is no mention in the Constitution of India about the time limit within which the President must send the bill back for reconsideration.
This gives the President the power, to keep the bill pending with him without any time limit. Due to this, the President has the informal power to use the veto in a very effective manner. This is also referred to as ‘Pocket Veto’.
Third Discretion Power
The third discretion power arises from political circumstances. Formally, the President appoints the Prime Minister. Usually, the leader of the majority in Lok Sabha is appointed as Prime Minister. Here there is no discretion that arises.
But when there is a situation, where there is no leader has a clear majority. Now the President decides whom to appoint as the Prime Minister.
In such situation the President has to use his own discretion in who has the support of majority or who can run the government.
Governors Discretion Power
Also at state level, a similar parliamentary executive exists with some difference or variances. Of these, most important variation is Governor of the state.
Governor of the state is appointed by the President on the advice of the central government. The governor has more discretionary powers.