The President (Discharge of Functions) Act, 1969 was enacted on 28th May, 1969. The President of India is bestowed with certain functions being the nominal head of the country; the President of India is formal head of the executive, legislature and the judiciary. The Act provides for discharge of functions of the President in certain contingencies.
Incase the office of President and the Vice President falls vacant in the event of death, resignation and removal the Chief Justice of India shall dispense the duties of the President. In case of absence of the Chief Justice, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court shall discharge such functions. They shall continue to discharge the functions until the elections of the new President or the new Vice President.
The Act under section 3 sub clause (2) lays that when the Vice President is discharging function of the President and is subsequently removed from his office or resigns, the Chief Justice and in his absence the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court shall discharge the functions of the President until the new President or new Vice President is elected.
The Act also provides that incase situation arises that the Vice President discharging functions of President is unable to discharge the responsibilities of President owing to his absence, illness or because of any other reason, the Chief Justice and in his absence the senior-most judge of Supreme Court shall discharge the functions until the Vice President resumes office or the new President is elected whichever is earlier.
The act bestows all the powers, immunities, privileges and emoluments on the Person discharging functions of President as provided under second schedule of the Constitution.
The Act is important since the provisions of the act shall be put into action in situations when office of the President falls vacant, inorder to avoid any confusion is such situations the Act makes it clear that only persons holding constitutional posts such as the Vice President in his absence the Chief Justice of India in his absence the senior most Judge of Supreme Court shall hold office of the President.
by Vibhuti Nakta.