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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

ARTICLE 60 : Oath or affirmation by the President

The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.

60. "Oath or affirmation by the President. - Every President and every person acting as President or discharging the functions of the President shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of India or, in his absence, the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court available, an oath or affirmation in the following form, that is to say-

"I, A.B., do swear in the name of God / solemnly affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of President (or discharge the function of the President) of India and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of India"."

India became formally independent from the United Kingdom on 15 August, 1947 and the country became a Commonwealth dominion.

This was a temporary measure, however, as the continued existence of a shared monarch in the Indian political system was not considered by some appropriate for a truly sovereign nation. The first Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten, was also the last British Viceroy of India before independence. He soon handed power over to C. Rajagopalachari, who became the only ethnically Indian Governor General. In the meantime, the Constituent Assembly led by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Finished the drafting on 26 November, 1949, and the Constitution was formally adopted on 26 January, 1950. When the Constitution took effect, the Governor General and King were replaced by an elected President, with Rajendra Prasad serving as the first President of India.

The move ended India's status as a Commonwealth dominion, but the Republic remained in the Commonwealth of Nations. Nehru argued that a nation should be allowed to stay in the Commonwealth simply by observing the British monarch as "Head of the Commonwealth" but not necessarily head of State. This was a ground-breaking decision that would set a precedent in the second half of the twentieth century for many other former British colonies to remain in the Commonwealth after becoming newly-independent Republics.

Definition of Oath of President

An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations. Such oaths are often required by the laws of the State, religious body, or other organization before the person may actually exercise the powers of the office or any religious body. It may be administered at an inauguration, coronation, enthronement, or any other ceremony connected with the taking up of office itself, or it may be administered privately. In some cases, it may be administered privately and then repeated during a public ceremony.

Some oaths of office are a statement of loyalty to a Constitution or other legal text or to a person or other office-holder (e.g., an oath to support the Constitution of the State, or of loyalty to the king). Under the laws of a State it may be considered treason or a high crime to betray a sworn oath of office.

The oath of office for the President of India is as follows:

I, [name], do swear in the name of God (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President (or discharge the functions of the President) of the Republic of India, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law, and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Republic of India.


As the President of India is the dignified and the most respectful and prestigious figure of the country, it is important that there should be a very authentic and dignified procedure and manner in the way he sworn in the office. The affirmation that a person takes while joining the office surrendering himself to the country with all his disciplines and loyalties to serve the country in fair manner is termed as oath, which is necessary in our Constitution depicting that the person is submitting, sacrificing and surrendering himself to the nation and his people.

Ekta Gupta

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