Comparing impeachment process and its impact in India and USA

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In this blog, I am going to talk about the impeachment process between India and the USA. Following the violence in the Capitol Hill by Trump Supporter, once again the question of impeachment has arrived. With this, Trump becomes the first US president to be impeached twice. He had been impeached when he had just a few days left to his office. But while the US is watching the whole impeachment process and its aftermath, let us understand how it works in India too. So let us go by one by one how it works.

Impeachment Process in the USA vs India

In USA, Art1 Section 2 mentions about the impeachment process it says” The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

  While Article 1 Section 3 mentions that “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
  Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honour, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Let us see the impeachment process in India.

 (1) When a President is to be impeached for violation of the Constitution, the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament.

(2) No such charge shall be preferred unless—

(a) the proposal to prefer such charge is contained in a resolution which has been moved after at least fourteen days’ notice in writing signed by not less than one-fourth of the total number of members of the House has been given of their intention to move the resolution, and

(b) such resolution has been passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House.

(3) When a charge has been so preferred by either House of Parliament, the other House shall investigate the charge or cause the charge to be investigated and the President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation.

(4) If as a result of the investigation a resolution is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House by which the charge was investigated or caused to be investigated, declaring that the charge preferred against the President has been sustained, such resolution shall have the effect of removing the President from his office as from the date on which the resolution is so passed.

The Reason of Impeachment

While in the USA, the impeachment can happen on the charges of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Nonetheless, the definition of high crimes is still unclear.

In India President can be removed by Supreme Court if there are any malpractices found in the election process or he can be removed by impeachment but there are no clear charges mentioned in the Indian Constitution that why a President would be impeached.

Impact of Impeachment

The provision of impeachment is indeed the deterrent one the whole objective is to make the most powerful person stick to the ground so that there can be checks and balances, Let’s see how the impeachment impacts USA president and Indian President.

In India if the impeachment resolution is passesd with the two third majority in the Parliament, the President is impeached which means he is removed from the office.

But in the case of the USA, the impeachment does not remove the President from his office unless he is convicted after criminal trials. After the conviction, the Senate has the power to have a simple majority and banned President from office, However, experts argue that whether a conviction would let the president lose all the perks other than pension.   However, as per the Former Pension’s Act, it mentions that if President is not going o receive any pension if convicted and removed from the office by the senate.

While the Indian system sees the clear impact of impeachment but in the USA the removal does not solely depend on the impeachment, still the removal awaits some more procedures.

List of Impeached Presidents.

While in India, there has been no president who has been impeached but in USA there are three Presidents who were impeached.

  • Andrew Johnson: He was the first president to be impeached in the history of the United States. He had involved in ugly clashes with the congress, On Feb 24, 1868, Andrew was impeached after he removed the secretary of war.
  • Bill Clinton: On December 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on the alleged extramarital affair between Clinton and his secretary Monica Lewinsky. However, he managed to get the second term as President after apologizing over the affair.
  • Donald Trump. He becomes the first President to be impeached twice while remaining in the office. First time when he bribed and involved Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son and their dealings with the Ukraine Gas company. He is being impeached for the Capitol Hill chaos. It was he who had been creating hurdles in the smooth transfer of power. He had ignited the fire of chaos and restlessness. It would be interesting to see how things unfold.

Conclusion

Both the counties are different in terms of the government. So the USA has the Presidential system and India has the Parliamentary form of government. The impeachment thing does not really impact the US President unless he is convicted but as in the case of India even if the President is removed, it does not impact as he is just the nominal head. The actual power lies with the Prime Minister. Hence we can certainly come to the conclusion that impeachment may sound very deterrent, but it is just the incomplete story. Nevertheless, the impeachment is indeed the black spot in the career for someone who holds this great office and certainly, this is indeed a humiliation for someone like President.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-12/what-a-final-days-impeachment-would-mean-for-trump-quicktake

https://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#a1_sec3

https://time.com/5552679/impeached-presidents/

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