VICE – PRESIDENT

                   

VICE – PRESIDENT

 

BASICS
  • 63 – The office of Vice President of India.
  • Office of Indian Vice President is modeled on the lines of American Vice -President.
  • The second-highest constitutional office in India – Rank only next to the office of president in order of precedence.
  • VP is also ex-officio chairperson of Rajya Sabha (Art.64)
  • Vice President is a member of neither Lok Sabha nor Rajya Sabha.
  • 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.
  • First Vice President of india – Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1952)
  • Present Vice President of india – Venkaiah Naidu (Since 2017)

 

 

ELECTIONS OF VICE PRESIDENT (ART. 66)
  • The vice-President is elected by the method of indirect election (Like president) and not directly by the people.
  • He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament.
Elections of Vice President (Art. 66)Elections of President (Art.54)
●        Indirect elections with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting are by secret ballot.●        Indirect elections with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting are by secret ballot.
●        Electoral college – Consist both elected and nominated members from Lok Sabha + Rajya Sabha only.●        Electoral college – Consist Only elected members from Lok Sabha + Rajya Sabha + Legislative assemblies of State + Legislative assemblies of UTs (Delhi and Puducherry only)
●        Does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies.●        Elected members of the state legislative assemblies are included.
●        Consist of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament only.●        Consist of only elected members of SLA, LS, and RS.

 

WHY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT?
  • The President is the head of the State and his power extends both to the administration by the Centre as well as to the states.
  • This entails, it is necessary that in his election, not only members of Parliament should play their part, but the members of the state legislatures should have a voice.
  • The normal functions of Vice-President are to preside over the council of states.
  • It is only on a rare occasion, and that too for a temporary period, that he may be called upon to assume the duties of the president.

 

QUALIFICATIONS
  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should have completed 35 years of age.
  • He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • 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.
  • The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of Vice-President must be subscribed by at least 20 electors (Members of Parliament) as proposers and 20 electors as seconders. (50 proposers and seconders in case of President).

 

 

OATH AND AFFIRMATIONS (ART. 69)
  • Before entering upon his office, the Vice-President has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation.
  • The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.

 

CONDITIONS OF OFFICE
  • 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.
  • He should not hold any other office of profit.
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.

 

TERM OF OFFICE (ART. 67)
  • The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters his office.
  • He can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the President.
  • The Vice-President can hold office beyond his term of five years until his successor assumes charge.
  • He is also eligible for re-election to that office for any number of terms.

 

VACANCIES IN 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.
  • 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 the 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.

 

REMOVAL
  • He can also be removed from the office before the completion of his term.
  • No ground has been mentioned in the Constitution for his removal.
  • A formal impeachment is not required for his removal.
  • Resolution for removal can be introduced only in the Rajya Sabha and not in the Lok Sabha, with at least 14 days’ advance notice has been given.
  • Resolution for removal should be passed in the Rajya Sabha by an effective majority (the majority of all the then members of the Rajya Sabha) and in the Lok Sabha by a simple majority.
  • It must be noted here that the effective majority in India is only a type of special majority and not a separate one.
  • In such cases, when a temporary vacancy in the office of the Vice President is created, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha takes over the role of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • In other words, the role of the Vice President is to assist the President in being the nominal head of the Republic of India.
  • However, one must remember that the office of the President and the Vice President cannot be combined in one person, as per the Constitution of India.

 

ADJUDICATION ON ELECTION DISPUTES
  • All doubts and disputes in connection with the election of the Vice- President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
  • The election of a person as Vice-President cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete (i.e., the existence of any vacancy among the members of the electoral college).
  • If the election of a person as Vice-President is declared void by the Supreme Court, acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the Supreme Court are not invalidated (i.e., they continue to remain in force).
Similar to Indian vice-president, the American vice-president who also acts as Chairman of the Senate – the Upper House of the American legislature.

 

EMOLUMENTS
  • 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 chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
  • When the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President, he is entitled to the salary or allowance payable to the President.
When Vice-President acts as President or discharging 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.

 

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS

The Vice President of India, after the President, is the highest dignitary of India, and certain powers are attached to the office of the Vice President. These are:

  • He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States. In this capacity, his powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, impeachment, death, or otherwise.
  • He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected.
  • Further, 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.

 

INDIAN VIZ-A-VIZ AMERICAN VP
Indian Vice-PresidentAmerican Vice-President
●        Indian Vice-President does not assume the office of the President when it falls vacant for the unexpired term. He merely serves as an acting President until the new President assumes charge.●        American Vice-President succeeds to the presidency when it falls vacant, and remains President for the unexpired term of his predecessor.
●        Indian Vice-President can become President for a maximum of six months.●        American Vice-President becomes President for the remaining term.
●        The office of Indian Vice-President was created to maintain political continuity.●        American Vice-President endowed with significant power and functions.