In this article, we will discuss Veto Power of the President in a simple and easy way, and try to understand its various important aspects, So to understand well, definitely read the article till the end and also read other articles related to this.

Many times you must have heard that China vetoed in the United Nations Security Council. Usually we know so much about it that by vetoing a work is stopped or a veto is done to stop any work.

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Veto Power of the President
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What is veto power? 

The power or authority vested in one branch of the government or in any person, with the help of which the decisions, acts, etc., of any other branch can be annulled or postponed. This is called veto power.

In other words, veto is the power to stop an official action, especially the power to stop an enactment. In the context of India, the veto is the power of the President, Governor or other chief executive officer to specifically reject bills passed by the legislature.

Types of Veto

In the context of India, there are four types of veto. Remember, the original meaning of veto is the same, but different countries divide veto into different types according to their convenience.

As I read about America, the President there generally uses only two types of veto. On the other hand, talking about India, a total of four types of veto are used such as –

1. Absolute Veto It means not to give assent to the bill passed by the legislature .

2. Featured veto When a motion, bill etc. is repealed by the legislature by a high majority .

3. Suspensive Veto When a bill passed by the legislature is returned to the Parliament again by the President.

4. Pocket veto It means not to take any decision on any bill passed by the legislature.

Out of this, the President of India uses three types of veto. Extreme veto , suspending veto and pocket veto . Let’s understand it.

Veto power of Indian President

According to Article 111 of the Constitution, a Bill passed by the Parliament becomes an Act only when the President gives his assent to it.

When such a bill is presented for the assent of the President, he has three options.

1. He can give his assent to the Bill; 2. reserve his assent to the Bill; Or 3. He can return the Bill (if the Bill is not a Money Bill) for the reconsideration of Parliament.

However, if the Parliament presents this bill again without any amendment, before the President, then the President has to give his assent.

|There are two reasons for giving this power to the President: 1. To prevent the Parliament from making hasty and ill-considered legislations and; 2. To stop any unconstitutional legislation.

Absolute Veto

It is concerned with the power of the President, in which he keeps any bill passed by the Parliament with him. The Bill thus lapses and cannot become an Act. Generally, this veto is used in two cases: 

1. In relation to private members’ bills, that is, a member of parliament who is not a minister, yet he introduces a bill in the parliament.

2. In respect of a government bill , when the cabinet resigns. Suppose the bill has been passed by the Parliament and the President’s assent is yet to be received, but the new cabinet that comes again should advise the President not to give his assent to such a bill. Then the President exercises this veto.

This veto was used by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1954 to withhold his decision on a bill called ‘PEPSU Appropriation’.

Actually this bill was passed by the Parliament at the time when the President’s rule was in force in the PEPSU state, but when this bill was sent to the President for approval, the President’s rule was removed.

** PEPSU i.e. Patiala and East Punjab States Union . In fact, today’s eastern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were divided into small provinces. Such as Patiala ,  Shimla ,  Kasauli ,  Kandaghat ,  Chail , Jind etc. This was jointly called PEPSU. 1956 and after that gradually all this was merged to form a big state.

Suspensive Veto 

The President exercises this veto when he returns a bill to Parliament for reconsideration. However, if Parliament passes that bill again without any amendment or with amendment and sends it to the President, then it is binding on the President to give his assent.

This means that this veto of the President can be revoked by the Parliament re-passing that bill by a simple majority.

The President cannot exercise this veto in the case of money bills . The President can either give his assent to a Money Bill or withhold it but cannot send it to Parliament for reconsideration.

Ordinarily, the President gives his assent to a Money Bill when it is introduced in the Parliament with his prior approval.

Pocket veto

| In this case, the President neither assents, rejects, nor returns the bill but pending the bill for an indefinite period.

The power of the President not to give any decision on the bill (positive or negative) is known as pocket veto.

|The President exercises this veto power on the ground that there is no time limit fixed in the Constitution for giving a decision on a bill that has come before him. That is, no specific period has been written in the constitution that the President will have to give his assent in so many days, that is why the President uses it as a veto.

On the other hand, in the US, there is a system that the President has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. Thus it can be said that the power of the President of India is more than that of the President of America in this regard.

| In 1986, this veto was used by President Giani Zail Singh in the context of the ‘Indian Postal Amendment Act’.

| It is to be noted that the President does not have any veto power in the Acts related to the Constitutional Amendment .

In fact, by the 24th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1971, it has been made binding on the President to give his assent to the Constitution Amendment Bills.

President’s veto on state legislature

, The President also has veto powers in respect of the state legislature. Any bill passed by the state legislature becomes an act only when the Governor or the President (if the bill is brought for the President’s consideration) gives his assent to it.

Veto power of the governor

When a bill passed by the state legislature is brought for the consideration of the Governor for his assent, he has four options under Article 200 :-

1. He can give his assent to the Bill, 2. He can reserve his assent to the Bill, 3. He can return the Bill (if not a Money Bill) for reconsideration of the State Legislature and 4. He can refer the Bill. may reserve for the consideration of the President.

Reserve Bill for consideration of the President by the Governor

| When a Bill is reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the President, the President has three options under Article 201 : 1. He can give his assent to the Bill, 2. He reserves his assent to the Bill, or 3 . He can direct the Governor to return the Bill (if not a Money Bill) to the State Legislature for reconsideration.

| If the state legislature passes the bill again without any amendment and sends it to the President, then even then the President is not bound to give his assent to it.

When the Parliament does so, the President is bound to give his assent. We just read it above.

| This means that the state legislature cannot abrogate the President’s veto. Apart from this, there is no time limit in the Constitution as to how long the President should give his decision on the Bill placed by the Governor for the consideration of the President.

| Thus the President can also exercise pocket veto in respect of state legislators.

Comparison of veto power of President and Governor

Presidential [General Bills]Governor [General Bills]
Every ordinary bill when it is passed by both the Houses of Parliament (whether separately or jointly) is sent to the President for his assent. In this case he has three options-
1. He can assent to the bill, then the bill becomes an act. (no veto)
2. He can withhold his assent to the bill, in which case the bill will lapse and become an act. (Extreme Veto)
3. He can return the Bill (if the Bill is not a Money Bill) for reconsideration of Parliament. If the bill is again passed by both the houses without any change and is sent for the assent of the President, then the President must give his assent.
Every ordinary bill when it is passed by the House or Houses of the Legislature (if there is also a Legislative Council) is sent to the Governor for his assent. In this case the Governor has four options-
1. He can assent to the Bill, the Bill then becomes an Act. No veto)
2. He can withhold his assent to the MLA then the bill will lapse and become an act. (Extreme veto)
3. If the bill is again passed by the legislature without any change and sent for the assent of the governor, then it becomes mandatory for the governor to give assent.
4. He can reserve the bill for the assent of the President. ,
* Whenever a Bill is reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the President, the President has three options –
1. He can assent to the Bill, after which it becomes an Act.
2. He can withhold his assent to the Bill, then The Bill will lapse and will not become an Act.
3. He can send the bill to the House or Houses of the State Legislature for reconsideration. It is required to be reconsidered by the House within six months. If the bill is sent again for the assent of the President without some amendment or amendment, the President is not bound to give it; He may or may not approve.
When the Governor reserves a bill for the assent of the President, then he has no role in making the bill an Act. If that bill is sent by the President to the House or Houses for reconsideration and after passing it again, it is sent to the President for his assent.
This means that the approval of the Governor is no longer required.
relating to money billsrelating to money bills
When every money bill passed by the Parliament is sent to the President for his assent, he has two options –
1. He can assent to the bill so that it becomes an Act.
2. If he does not approve then the bill will lapse. And the act will not be made. Thus the President cannot return the Money Bill to the Parliament for reconsideration.
When a money bill is passed by the state legislature and sent to the governor for his assent, he has three options –
1. He can give his assent to the bill, then the bill will become an act.
2. He can withhold his assent to the Bill which will lapse and become an Act.
3. He can reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President. In this way, even the governor cannot return the money bill to the state assembly for reconsideration.
When a Money Bill is sent by a Governor to the President, the President has two options –
1. He can give his assent to the Bill, so that the Bill becomes an Act,
2. He can withhold his assent to it. Then the Bill will lapse and will not become an Act. Thus the President cannot send the Money Bill to the State Legislative Assembly for reconsideration (exactly like Parliament).
When the Governor reserves the Money Bill for the consideration of the President, he no longer has any role in the functioning of the Bill. If the President assent to the bill, it will become an Act. This means that the approval of the Governor is no longer necessary.
President vs Governor

All in all, this is the veto power of the President, hopefully understandable. Be sure to read other articles written on the President for better understanding. The link is given below.

Veto Power of the President Practice Quiz upsc