A person who holds, or who has held, office as President shall, subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, be eligible for re-election to that office.

Debate Summary

Article 46, Draft Constitution, 1948

A person who holds, or who has held, office as President shall be eligible for re-election to that office once, but only once.

 

Draft Article 46 (Article 57, Constitution of India, 1950) allowed for the re-election of the President. The Article was debated on 13 December 1948.

 

The Draft Article in its prior form had restricted the re-election of a President: A person could serve as the President of India only for one term. A member moved an amendment to remove this restriction. He noted that ‘a capable and efficient man’ should be allowed to deliver his services to the country as long as he is able to.

 

There was another proposal to ensure that a President who had been impeached from office should be barred from being re-elected. The mover of this proposal invoked foreign experiences of how a President who was impeached on charges of corruption and other ‘nefarious’ grounds was re-elected. He added: ‘considering that public memory is so short and even party memory is short’, the chances of a previously impeached President being nominated for re-election is likely. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee believed that this issue could be considered during the discussion on the qualifications of the President. The amendment was withdrawn.

 

The Assembly voted in favour of removing the one-time restriction for re-election. It adopted the Draft Article with the amendment.