Veto Powers

The President of India is vested with three—

  1. absolute veto
  2. suspensive veto and
  3. pocket veto.

Absolute Veto

It refers to the power of the President to withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament.The bill then ends and does not become an act.

  • In 1954, President Dr Rajendra Prasad with held his assent to the PEPSU Appropriation Bill. The bill was passed by the Parliament when the President’s Rule was in operation in the state of PEPSU.
  • Again in 1991, President R Venkataraman with held his assent to the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill. The bill was passed by the Parliament (on the last day before dissolution of Lok Sabha) without obtaining the previous recommendation of the President.

Suspensive Veto

Sending the bill back to the Parliament for reconsideration and which can be over ridden by the Legislature with an ordinary majority.

Pocket Veto

In this case, the President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period.

  • In 1986, President Zail Singh exercised the pocket veto with respect to the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill. The 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 made it obligatory for the President to give his assent to a Constitutional Amendment bill.

Under Article 123 the President can promulgate ordinances when both the Houses of the Parliament are not in session. These ordinances must be approved by the Parliament within the six weeks of its reassembly.