(1) No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he—

 

(a) is a citizen of India,

 

(b) has completed the age of thirty-five years, and

 

(c) is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People.

 

(2) A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.

 

Explanation.—For the purposes of this article, a person shall not be deemed to hold any office of profit by reason only that he is the President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any State or is a Minister either for the Union or for any State

Debate Summary

Article 47, Draft Constitution of India, 1948 

(1) No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he-

(a) Is a citizen of India,

(b) Has completed the age of thirty-five years, and

(c) Is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People.

(2) A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office or position of emolument under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this clause a person shall not be deemed to hold any office or position of emolument by reason only that-

(a) He is a minister either for India or for any State for the time being specified in Part I of the First Schedule; or

(b) He is a minister for any State for the time being specified in Part III of the First Schedule, if he is responsible to the Legislature of the State, or, where there are two Houses of the Legislature of the State, to the Lower House of the Legislature, and if not less than three-fourths of the members of the Legislature or House, as the case may be, are elected.

 

The Constituent Assembly debated Draft Article 47 (Article 58, Constitution of India, 1950) on 27 December 1948 and 13 October 1949. The Draft Article lays down the required qualifications for an individual to be elected as the President of India. 

 

A member wanted to ensure that a Minister who wanted to run for the President's office first resigned from his current ministerial office. This, he reasoned, would avoid the misuse of the Minister’s office and staff for Presidential campaign. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee highlighted that this amendment would ‘create complete administrative chaos’.  If Ministers were to resign, then all administrative responsibilities would come to a halt. It would not be feasible to delegate this role to bureaucrats or temporary Ministers. He further noted that the Election Commission, a constitutional body, would ensure fair elections and prevent any Minister from exercising undue influence.

 

There was an amendment which required President-elect to declare all ‘right, title, share, property and interest’ in any government-aided or supported enterprise, business or trade. Such assets were to be bought by the government. The amendment mover invoked German President Hindenberg’s involvement with the Prussian landlords which strengthened the Nazi government and strongly urgedthat President should be free from any entanglements’. Some members opposed this proposal and argued that it would infringe the right to hold private property which was a recognised fundamental right. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee observed that the proposal was rather novel and unprecedented: he illustrated how even the American Constitution, which adopted a Presidential form of government, did not have a similar provision. Moreover, this amendment was unnecessary as the Indian Constitution viewed the position of the President as ‘a nominal figurehead’. If the Assembly were to adopt this, there would be a dearth of Presidential candidates.

 

All substantive amendments were rejected. On 27 December 1948, the Draft Article was adopted with a minor amendment. The Drafting Committee successfully moved another minor amendment on 13 October 1949.