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.
59. "Conditions of President's office.- (1) The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as President.
(2) The President shall not hold any other office of profit.
(3) The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residences and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.
(4) The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office."
The President of India
The Parliament of India consists of the President of India, House of the People known as the Lok Sabha and the Council of States known as the Rajya Sabha . The President of India is the head of State and the first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Despite Article 53 of the Constitution stating that the President can exercise his/her powers directly, with few exceptions, all the authority vested in the President is in practice exercised by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. The President is elected by the elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and of the State legislatures and serves for a term of five years.
Office of Profit : Meaning
The Supreme Court in Jaya Bachchan v. Union of India, AIR 2006 SC 2119 held that "an office of profit is an office which is capable of yielding a profit or pecuniary gain". The Court further held that, "for deciding the question as to whether one is holding an office of profit or not, what is relevant is whether the office is capable of yielding a profit or pecuniary gain and not whether the person actually obtained a monetary gain. If the 'pecuniary gain' is 'receivable' in connection with the office then it becomes an office of profit, irrespective of whether such pecuniary gain is actually received or not." In Satrucharla's case , AIR 1992 SC 1959, the SC has summarized the tests or principles, to determine whether or not a person holds an office of profit under the government, as follows: (1) The mere control of the government over the authority having the power to appoint, dismiss or control the working of the officer employed by such authority does not disqualify the concerned officer from being a candidate for election as a member of Legislature. (2) The payment from out of the government revenues is an important factor in determining whether a person is holding an office of profit or not of the government. (3) The incorporation of a body corporate and entrusting the functions to it by the government may suggest that the statute intended it to be a statutory corporation independent of the government. But it is not conclusive on the question whether it is really so independent. Sometimes, the form may be that of a body corporate independent of the government, but in substance, it may be the just alter ego of the government itself. (4) The true test of determination of the said question depends upon the degree of control the government has over it, the extent of control exercised by other bodies or committees, and its composition, the degree of its dependence on the government for its financial needs and the functional aspect.
Tenure of office of the President
The President is elected for a period of five years from the date on which he assumes office but he is eligible for re-election. The President's office terminates on the completion of five years.
Emoluments of the President
The President of India used to receive Rs. 10,000 per month as per the Constitution. This amount was increased to Rs 50,000 in 1998. On September 11, 2008 the Government of India increased the salary of the President to Rs. 1.5 lakh.