……“There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions”………states
Art 74 of the Constitution of India.
Does this mean that the President and the Governors have a real function to perform?
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, said ‘yes’.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of
India, said ‘No’.
Is their office, then, merely titular and symbolic and must they always accept the advice of their Council of Ministers?
Justice Ismail carefully analyses both sides of the question. He examines the various opinions expressed. He goes to the sources: the Constitution itself, the records of the Constitution Drafting Committee and of the Constituent Assembly.
And he concludes that not only do the President and Governors have considerable discretionary powers under the provisions of the Constitution, but it is imperative that they act on them.
This is a provocative expose by a Judge of the Madras High Court. For all those concerned with the proper functioning of the Indian Constitution, it is a book that demands reading.
M. M. Ismail