Assent to Bills - Presidential Assent (UPSC Indian Polity Notes)

The Parliament is the ultimate law-making authority of India. A bill becomes a law if it is passed by both Houses of the Parliament and receives the assent of the President. In this article, you can read about the assent to bills, and also about when the President can withhold his/her assent to bills in India. It is important to learn about it for IAS Exam from the perspective of Indian Polity (GS-II). 

To complement your preparation for UPSC 2023, check the following links:

What is a bill?

A draft of legislative proposal, a bill includes recommendation of administrators to run a government. A bill in its later stage becomes an act that is a fundamental block of the Indian constitution. But for a bill to become an act, it has to undergo a few stages involving:

  • Proposal of bill
  • Reading of bill
  • Scrutinizing the points proposed in the bill
  • Voting for the bill by the houses of Indian Constitution
  • Assent to the bill

How a Bill is Passed in India

There are four types of bills that can be introduced in the Indian Parliament, and the process of them becoming laws is slightly varied. But, the basic process is, they have to be passed in both Houses and receive the presidential assent. (For all bills except money bills, both Houses have to approve). 

To know the types of bill, aspirants can check the how a bill is passed in Indian parliament article.

Bill & the Presidential Assent

Indian President has three approaches to the bill forwarded to him by the central or state legislature:

  1. He can either give assent,
  2. He can withhold his assent or
  3. He can return the bill for reconsideration generally (depends on the type of bill). 

To read more on the Presidential assent, check the linked article. 

Assent to Ordinary Bill

In case of an ordinary bill, there are three courses of action the President can do:

  1. Give his assent: the bill then becomes an act.
  2. Withhold his assent: the bill ends there and does not become as act.
  3. Return the bill for reconsideration: the Houses may make changes or not to the bill and return it to the President after which he is obliged to give his assent.

Assent to Money Bill

The President may either give or withhold assent to a Money Bill. Under the Constitution of India, a Money Bill cannot be returned to the House by the President for reconsideration.

Assent to Constitutional Amendment Bill

In the case of such bills, the President must give assent. He cannot return the bill or withhold it (unlike ordinary bills). After this, the bill becomes a Constitutional Amendment Act and the Constitution stands amended in accordance with the terms of the Act.

Veto Power of the President

When a bill is passed by both Houses of the Parliament, it goes to the President for his assent. The President can give or reject assent to the bill (or return for reconsideration depending on the bill type). This choice of the President is called his Veto Power. More on the veto power of the President can be read in the link given above.

Assent to Bills – Indian Polity:- Download PDF Here

Aspirants can read the linked articles mentioned below, those are important for Indian Polity:

Types of Amendments & Constitutional Amendment Process in India Lapsing of Bills 44th Amendment Act
42nd amendment act  Directive Principles of State Policy Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

Related Links
Polity Notes for UPSC Polity MCQs
India Year Book – 5 Things to Know Language Papers in UPSC – Tips to Study
UPSC Admit Card 2023 IAS Eligibility Criteria


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