VICE-PRESIDENT

VICE-PRESIDENT

  • Article 63: There shall be a Vice-President of India.
  • Vice-President occupies the second highest office in the country + Ranked second in the table of precedence + Office is modelled on the lines of the American Vice President.

 

ELECTION OF VICE PRESIDENT (Article 66)
  • Vice President is elected indirectly and Electoral College consists of members of both houses of Parliament.
  • Electoral college for Vice President is different from the electoral college for the election of the President in the following two respects:
  1. It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament (in the case of president, only elected members).
  2. It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies (in the case of President, the elected members of the state legislative assemblies are included).
  • Vice President’s election, like that of the President’s election, is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.
  • The original Constitution provided that the Vice-President would be elected by the two Houses of Parliament assembled at a joint meeting. This cumbersome procedure was done away by the 11th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1961.
  • All doubts and disputes in connection with election of the Vice-President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
  • Four Vice Presidents have been elected unopposed so far.

 

 

 

 

Qualification for election of Vice President:

 

To be eligible for election as Vice-President, a person should fulfil the following qualifications:

1.       He should be a citizen of India.

2.       He should have completed 35 years of age.

3.       He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

4.       He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government or any local authority or any other public authority.

 

NOTE:  A sitting President or Vice-President of the Union, the governor of any state and a minister for the Union or any state is not deemed to hold any office of profit and hence qualified for being a candidate for Vice-President.

Nomination of a candidate for election to the office of Vice President requires: •          At least 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders.

•          A security deposit of ₹ 15,000 in the RBI.

 

Oath or Affirmation by the Vice President (Article 69) •          Before entering upon his office, the Vice-President has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation. In his oath, the Vice-President swears.

•          The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.

 

CONDITION OF THE VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

The Constitution lays down the following two conditions of the Vice President’s office:

  1. He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature. If any such person is elected Vice-President, he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Vice-President.
  2. He should not hold any other office of profit.

 

TERM OF VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (Article 67)
  • 5 years from date on which he enters office.
  • Can hold office beyond his term of five years until his successor assumes charge.
  • He is also eligible for re-election to that office any number of times.
  • Resignation to: President
  • Can also be removed from the office before completion of his term. A formal impeachment is not required for his removal.
  • Can be removed from his office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then members of the Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha (by simple majority). But no such resolution can be moved unless at least 14 days’ advance notice has been given.
  • No ground has been mentioned in the Constitution for his removal.

 

VACANCY IN VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE
  • A vacancy in the Vice-President’s office can occur in any of the following ways: On the expiry of his tenure of five years + By his resignation + On his removal + By his death.
  • Otherwise, for example, when he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.
  • When the vacancy is going to be caused by the expiration of the term of the sitting vice-president, an election to fill the vacancy must be held before the expiration of the term.
  • If the office falls vacant by resignation, removal, death or otherwise, then election to fill the vacancy should be held as soon as possible after the occurrence of the vacancy. The newly-elected vice-president remains in office for a full term of five years from the date he assumes charge of his office.

 

POWERS AND FUNCTION OF VICE PRESIDENT

The functions of Vice-President are two-fold:

 

VP acts as the Ex-officio Chairman of Rajya sabha (Art. 64):
  •          In this capacity his powers are similar to those of Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  •         In this respect, he resembles the American vice president who also acts as chairman of upper house of American legislature called senate.
VP acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise. (Art. 65)

 

  •          When two Presidents, Dr Zakir Hussain and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, died in office, the then respective Vice-Presidents, V V Giri and B D Jatti acted as President.
  •          He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected.
  •          When the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.
  •          While acting as President or discharging the functions of President, the Vice-President does not perform the duties of the office of the chairman of Rajya Sabha. During this period, those duties are performed by the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

 

  • The Constitution has not fixed any emoluments for the Vice-President in that capacity. He draws his regular salary in his capacity as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

 

INDIAN Vs. AMERICAN VICE-PRESIDENTS
  • Though the office of the Indian Vice-President is modelled on the lines of the American Vice-President, there is a difference. The American Vice-President succeeds to the presidency when it falls vacant, and remains President for the unexpired term of his predecessor. The Indian Vice-President, on the other hand, merely serves as an acting President when office of President falls vacant until the new President assumes charge.
  • Constitution has not assigned any significant function to the Vice-President in that capacity. This office was created with a view to maintain the political continuity of the Indian State.