(1) The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as President.

 

(2) The President shall not hold any other office of profit.

 

(3) The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residences and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.

 

(4) The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.

Debate Summary

Article 48, Draft Constitution of India, 1948 

(1) The President shall not be a member either of Parliament or of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of Parliament or of the Legislature of any State be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in Parliament or such Legislature, as the case may be, on the date on which he enters upon his office as President.

(2) The President shall not hold any other office or position of emolument.

(3) The President shall have an official residence and there shall be paid to the President such emoluments and allowances as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments and allowances as are specified in the Second Schedule.

(4) The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.

                                                                  

The Constituent Assembly debated Draft Article 48 (Article 59, Constitution of India, 1950) on 27 December 1948 and 14 October 1949. The Draft Article laid down conditions for the President’s office including emoluments and benefits.

 

There was a proposal to ensure that if the President-elect was a ruler from a Princely state he/she would be required to give away his/her privy purse based pension/allowance. This would be consistent with the democratic and republican ideals of the Constitution. The Chair of the Drafting Committee suggested that this issue was better dealt with later when the Princely states accede to the Indian union.

 

A member wanted to delete ‘the President shall have an official residence’ from clause 3. He was against the insertion of such ‘insignificant, such a minor details’ in the Constitution; He noted that the American Constitution did not mention the White House. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee, in defence, pointed out that the Government of India Act 1935 and several other British Orders laid down official residences of the Governor-General and Governors. The Drafting Committee was merely encoding an already existing precedent.

 

Another member moved an amendment to add retirement benefits in the Draft Article. He argued that this provision was novel and even the American Constitution missed including such a provision. A host of officers including the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and judges of the higher judiciary enjoy pension post-retirement. It was important to extend this benefit to the former sovereign head of the nation. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee found this impractical. He noted that if a person were to be re-elected as a President, according to the proposal, he/she would be entitled to a pension for his/her previous term as President in addition to a salary for his/her current term and salary. He, however, conceded that providing pension to the President was a ‘laudable idea’, an initiative that future Parliaments would take forward. 

 

The Assembly rejected all substantive proposals. On 27 December 1948, it adopted the Draft Article with minor amendments. On 14th October 1949, the Assembly re-opened this Article and adopted minor amendments.