Recently Vice President election was held on August 5, 2017. Two official candidates had been announced to contest for office of Vice President. Those were Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Venkaiah Naidu. In election result, Venkaiah Naidu won and became 15th (13th by Election) vice president of India.
Constitution Provisions regarding Vice President :-
- Article 63 : “There shall be a Vice-President of India”. The post has been inspired & taken from the Constitution of the U.S.
- Article 64 : “The Vice-President becomes Ex-Officio Chairman of Council of States (Rajya Sabha)”.
- Article 65 : The Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence of President.
- Article 66 : Manner of election of Vice-President.
- Article 68 : Time of holding election to fill vacancy in the office of Vice-President and the term of office of person elected to fill casual vacancy.
- Article 69 : Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President to President.
- Article 70 : Discharge of President’s functions in other contingencies.
- Article 71 : Matters relating to, or connected with, the election of a President or Vice-President.
- 2nd Schedule : The salary, emoluments etc. of the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha is mentioned.
Vice President of India – Election, Tenure, Powers:-
Qualifications of Election for a candidate to become Vice-President :-
A person must have the following the qualification for contesting Elections and also to become the Vice President of India.
- Candidate must be citizen of India.
- Should have age equal or above 35 years.
- Candidate must a member of the Council of states i.e. Rajya Sabha.
- The V.P shall not be a member of either house of parliament or any state legislature, if that is the case then that person is deemed to have vacated the M.P’s or M.L.A’s or M.L.C’s post on the date on which he become the Vice-President.
When do we elect Vice President?
- The election of the next Vice President is to be held within 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice President.
- A Vice-President shall, not withstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor becomes Vice President.
- Any person qualified to be elected and intending to stand for election as Vice-President is required to be nominated by at least 20 MPs as proposers and at least 20 MPs as seconders.
How do we Elect our Vice-President :-
- Article 66: Manner of election of Vice-President.
- The Vice-President of India is elected by an electoral college conducted by Election commission of India consisting of: Elected and nominated members of both house (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) of Parliament.
- Voting in Vice-President election is done by secret ballot.
- Each member of the electoral college is given one ballot paper and He/she is required to indicate his preference by marking against the names of candidates.
- Vice-President of India is elected by proportional representation system by means of a single transferable vote.
- To Elect a candidate to the office of Vice-President, He/she must secure a fixed quota of Votes.
- In first counting, if a candidate secures required quota, he becomes vice president of India.
- Otherwise, the transfer of votes in motion (In this Ballots of candidates who secures least number of votes are cancelled for next counting and his second preference votes transferred to the first preference votes of the other candidates.) and the process continues till a candidate secures the required quota.
- Article-71 : All disputes related to the election of Vice-President are inquired into and decided by the supreme court whose decision is final.
Oath & Resignation to Office of Vice-President :-
- The Vice-President shall take the oath of office in the presence of President. Or President can appoint somebody to administer Oath of office on behalf of him.
- Vice President can resign from his office before completion of his tenure by addressing resignation letter to the President.
- Vice President must address President either to take an oath or to resign for the office.
Tenure of Vice-President’s office-
- The Vice-President holds office for a term of 5 years.
- In India Vice President is also eligible for re-election to that office. Means he can be elected to the office without any limit.
- Vice-President can also remove from his office by the resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha with an effective majority. And after Lok Sabha agrees with simple majority, he/she can be removed.
- The Constitution does not describe the grounds for removal.
Removal of Vice-President-
- The resolution against Vice-president can be initiated only in Rajya Sabha and should be passed by effective majority.
After deducting vacant seats from total seats, we get effective strength. Effective majority means more than 50 % of the effective strength.
- This resolution also agreed by house of people (Lok Sabha) with simple majority.
- No Vice-President has ever faced removal proceedings.
When do Vice-President acts as a President :-
- Article 65: The Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence of President.
- Vice-President while acting as a President has all the powers and immunities of the President. This is the second most important function of the V.P.
- He can act as the president only for a maximum period of six months (question asked) in case of Permanent vacancy(death, impeachment, resignation or otherwise.). Within which a new president has to be elected.
- For Temporary vacancy, Vice President will take charge as President until President takes the office. In this he may continue more than 6 months.
- He takes the salary of President instead of taking salary as Ex-Officio chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- When the President Dr.Zakir Hussain died in office, the then Vice-President V.V.Giri acted as the President.
- When the President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed died in office, the then Vice-President B.D.Jatti acted as the president.
- The Vice-President Dr.S. Radhakrishnan discharged the duties of the President in June 1960 when the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad was on a 15-day tour to the former USSR. Also, again in July 1961 he discharged the functions of the President when Dr. Rajendra Prasad was very ill.
Important Points regarding Vice President :-
- The first Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha – Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
- The V.P gets the salary, allowance and remuneration etc. as the chairperson of the Rjaya Sabha but not as Vice President. The present salary of the V.P is 1,25,000 per month.
- Because of the limited powers and functions the V.P of India is also at times termed as “HIS SUPERFLUOUS HIGHNESS”.