The President of India shall have and exercise the executive power of the Union, as per Article 53 of the Indian Constitution. As a cornerstone of India’s governance structure, Article 53 delineates the extent of the President’s executive powers, defining the role of this constitutional figurehead in shaping the nation’s policies, enforcing laws, and safeguarding the interests of the people. Let us explore the significance of Article 53 and its implications on India’s executive functioning, which plays a vital role in the country’s democratic system.

What does Article 53 states ?

Executive power of the Union

(1) The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the supreme command of the Defence Forces of the Union shall be vested in the President and the exercise thereof shall be regulated by law

(3) Nothing in this article shall

(a) be deemed to transfer to the President any functions conferred by any existing law on the Government of any State or other authority; or

(b) prevent Parliament from conferring by law functions on authorities other than the President.

Executive Power of the Union:

Article 53 establishes that the President of India holds the executive power of the Union government. The executive power refers to the authority to implement and enforce laws, policies, and decisions of the government. As the head of the state, the President bears the responsibility of faithfully executing the laws passed by the Parliament throughout the country.

Vesting of Power in the President:

This clause explicitly vests the executive power in the President. It sets the President apart as the constitutional figurehead and custodian of the executive functions at the Union level. However, it is important to understand that the power is not absolute, as the President must exercise it in accordance with the Constitution’s provisions and within the framework of parliamentary democracy.

Direct or Indirect Exercise of Power:

The second part of Article 53 offers flexibility in the exercise of executive power. The President can exercise this power either directly or indirectly through officers who are subordinate to him. This means that while the President may directly perform certain executive functions, the Council of Ministers carries out many others on his behalf. The President acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers, which is collectively responsible to the Parliament.

Subordinate Officers:

The President, being the head of the executive, has the authority to appoint and remove various officers who form part of the executive branch. These officers include the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Governors of states, and other high-ranking officials. The President has the power to appoint these officials , but he do so on the advice of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Constitution as the Guiding Document:-

The final part of Article 53 emphasizes that the President must exercise the executive power in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. This reiterates the principle of constitutional supremacy, stating that all actions of the executive must align with the Constitution’s principles and not violate any constitutional provisions.


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