Highlight the veto powers of the President of India. How do the veto powers of the Governor differ from that of the President?

Highlight the veto powers of the President of India. How do the veto powers of the Governor differ from that of the President?

Answer:

The power of veto refers to the power of the executive to override any act of the legislature. This is a very special privilege. Under Article 111 of the Constitution, all bills passed by the Parliament can become an act only if it receives the assent of the President. Hence, the President enjoys a veto power, by withholding his assent to a bill.

Veto power of the President of India can be of the following types:

  • Absolute Veto: It refers withholding of assent to the Bill passed by the legislature. It was used by the President in case of PEPSU Appropriation Bill in 1954 and Salary, Amendments and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill in 1991.
  • Suspensive Veto: It is veto which can be overridden by the legislature with an ordinary majority. The President of India used it in case of Office of Profit Bill in 2006.
  • Pocket Veto: It empowers the President to not take any action on the Bill passed by the legislature. The President of India used this veto in case of Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill in 1986.

The President enjoys all three vetoes with respect to ordinary bills but in case of money bill, he/she only has absolute veto. The President cannot return a money bill for the reconsideration of the Parliament.

The governor also has similar powers at the state level with respect to the state bills – ordinary and money bills. However, in both the cases, governor has an additional veto power of reserving the bill for consideration of the President. When a bill is reserved for the consideration of the President, he has following options:

  • With regard to the State’s ordinary bill: The President can either give his/her assent to the bill or use his/ her absolute or suspensive or pocket veto. If the bill is passed after reconsideration by the concerned State Legislature in case of suspensive veto then the President may give his assent to a bill or even withhold his assent. The Governor does not have any further role in the enactment of the bill.
  • With regard to the State’s Money bill: The President can either give his/her assent to the bill or use his/ her absolute veto. The President cannot return a money bill for the reconsideration of the state legislature similar to what happens in the case of Parliament.

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