Veto Power of the President


Only after receiving the President’s approval may a bill that has been approved by the Parliament be made into an act. According to Article 111 of the Constitution, the President has three options when such a law is put before him for his approval:
If the bill is not a money measure, he has three options:

  • He can consent to the bill;
  • He can refuse to assent to the bill; or
  • He can return the bill for the Parliament’s consideration. The President must, however, offer his consent to the law if it is enacted by the Parliament once more, either with or without revisions. As a result, the President has the ability to veto measures that the Parliament has enacted, which means he can refuse to sign them. Giving the President this authority has two goals in mind: (a) preventing hurried and poorly thought-out legislation by the Parliament; and (b) preventing potentially unconstitutional legislation. The executive in contemporary governments has access to four different sorts of veto power:
  1. An absolute veto, or the refusal to ratify a law that the legislature has already enacted.
  2. Qualified veto, which the legislature can override with a larger majority.
  3. Suspensive veto, which the legislature can override with a simple majority.
  4. Pocket veto, often known as failing to act on a law that the legislature has already enacted.
    Absolute, suspensive, and pocket. The American President has the qualified veto, not the Indian President, who lacks it. The three vetoes available to the Indian President are described below:

Absolute Veto

It alludes to the President’s ability to refuse to sign a bill approved by the Parliament. The bill then expires without being passed into law. This veto is typically used in the following two situations:

(a) in relation to private member’s bills, or those introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister; and

(b) in relation to government bills when the cabinet resigns (after the bills have passed but before the President has given his assent to them) and the new cabinet advises the President not to do so. It alludes to the President’s ability to refuse to sign a bill approved by the Parliament.

President Dr. Rajendra Prasad refused to sign the PEPSU Appropriation Bill in 1954. When the President’s Rule was in effect in the state of PEPSU, the measure was approved by the parliament.
However, the President’s Rule was suspended when the law was submitted to the President for approval.
President R Venkataraman refused to sign the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill once more in 1991. On the final day before the Lok Sabha was dissolved, the law was enacted by Parliament without the President’s prior approval.

Uncertain Veto

When he sends a bill back to the Parliament for consideration, the President uses this veto. However, the President is required to offer his consent to the law if it is passed by the Parliament once more, with or without revisions, and is then given to him. This means that a repassage of the law by the same ordinary majority (and not a greater majority as required in the USA) overrides the presidential veto.
As previously stated, the President lacks this veto power in the case of money measures. The President may either approve or reject a money bill, but he or she may not send it back to the Parliament for a second reading. When a money measure is tabled in the Parliament with his prior approval, the President often offers his assent.

Mobile Veto

In this instance, the President just keeps the law waiting indefinitely rather than ratifying, rejecting, or returning it. The term “pocket veto” refers to the president’s ability to refuse to take any action—positive or negative—on the bill. The Constitution does not impose a deadline on the President’s decision about a measure that has been submitted to him for his assent, hence the President may use this veto power. In contrast, the President of the USA has ten days to return the measure for reconsideration.

As a result, it is noted that the Indian President’s pocket is larger than the American President’s.
During the 1986 legislative session, President Zail Singh used his pocket veto to block the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill. The Rajiv Gandhi government introduced a bill that was heavily criticized because it restricted journalistic freedom. When the bill was put back for reconsideration three years later, in 1989, by the new National Front Government, R Venkataraman, the bill was dropped.

The President has no veto power over a bill proposing a constitutional amendment, it should be stressed at this point. A constitutional amendment measure must receive the President’s consent before becoming law, according to the 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971.

Veto by the President on State Legislation

When it comes to state law, the President also has veto authority. Only with the approval of the governor or, if the law is designated for the President’s consideration, the President, can a bill approved by a state legislature become an act.
According to Article 200 of the Constitution, there are four options available to the governor when a state legislature passes a law and the governor is asked to sign it:
He has four options:

  • He can offer his assent to the measure;
  • He can withhold his assent to the law;
  • He can return the bill (if it’s not a money bill) for the state legislature to reconsider; or
  • He can reserve the bill for the President’s consideration.


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