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Comparison of Presidents in USA and India

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Indian Polity


Source: TH

 Context: On March 31, Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on charges related to payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital affairs.


Criminal processing against Presidents in USA and India

Immunity from Criminal ProceedingsThe sitting president cannot be indicted or arrested

during the term of office, however, former presidents can be indicted and prosecuted.

Same in India (Article 361)
Jail conviction of two or more yearsThe convicted person can run for the office of President and can even serve as the presidentThe convicted person cannot contest the Election for President for six years.


Comparison table of President Impeachment in USA and India:

Grounds for impeachmentConviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanoursViolation of the Constitution (Art 61 provides the procedure for impeachment of the president.)
Houses involved in the impeachmentHouse of Representatives and SenateLok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
Composition of HousesSenate (two senators per state) and House of Representatives (elected on the basis of population)Lok Sabha (elected by people) and Rajya Sabha (elected by state assemblies)
Initiation of impeachment chargesAny member of the House of Representatives can introduce a resolution of impeachmentImpeachment charges can be initiated by either House of Parliament
Signatures required for impeachment chargesAny member can introduce or the house can vote to enquireOne-fourth members of the House that framed the charges
The notice period given to the PresidentNot specified14 days
A majority required for an impeachment resolution to passA simple majority (51%) in the House of Representatives and two-thirds (67%) in the SenateTwo-thirds (67%) of the total membership of the House that framed the charges and two-thirds (67%) of the total membership of the other House
Role of Chief JusticePresides over the trial in the SenateNo role in the impeachment process
Role of the President in the impeachment trialCan appoint defence lawyersNo role in the impeachment process
Outcome of impeachmentRemoval from office and the Vice President takes over for the remainder of the termRemoval from office from the date on which the resolution is passed


Mains Links

How is the Indian president impeached? What is the procedure for the impeachment of a president? Compare and contrast it with the process of impeachment of the President of the United States. (250 words)


Prelims Links

Consider the following statements (UPSC 2022)

  1. A bill amending the Constitution requires a prior recommendation of the President of India.
  2. When a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President of India to give his/her assent.
  3. A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha by a special majority and there is no provision for joint sitting.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Answer – B


Which of the following is/are the exclusive power(s) of Lok Sabha? (UPSC 2022)

  1. To ratify the declaration of Emergency
  2. To pass a motion of no-confidence against the Council of Ministers
  3. To impeach the President of India


Select the correct answer using the code given ‘ below:

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 3 only


Answer – B