DMPQ- . Differentiate between the Suspensive veto power and pocket veto power of president of India.

. The President of India exercises suspensive veto when he returns a bill for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the bill. This means that the presidential veto is overridden by a re-passage of the bill by the same ordinary majority (and not a higher majority as required in USA).

The President does not possess this veto in the case of money bills. The President can either give his assent to a money bill or withhold his assent to a money bill but cannot return it for the reconsideration of the Parliament. Normally, the President gives his assent to money bill as it is introduced in the Parliament with his previous permission.

In pocket veto case, the President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period. This power of the President not to take any action (either positive or negative) on the bill is known as the pocket veto. The President can exercise this veto power as the Constitution does not prescribe any time-limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent. In USA, on the other hand, the President has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. Hence, it is remarked that the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the American President.

In 1986, President Zail Singh exercised the pocket veto with respect to the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill. The bill, passed by the Rajiv Gandhi Government, imposed restrictions on the freedom of press and hence, was widely criticised. After three years, in 1989, the next President R Venkataraman sent the bill back for reconsideration, but the new National Front Government decided to drop the bill.


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