- According to Article 63-71, Part V of the Indian Constitution, the vice president is the second-highest post. Under the official warrant of precedence, he is given a rank next to the President. Like the President, the vice president is chosen by the people through an indirect process. The US Vice-President serves as the inspiration for the position of vice-president in India. The vice president also acts as the Rajya Sabha’s ex officio chairman. Jagdeep Dhankhar has been India’s 14th and current vice president since August 11, 2022.
- The vice president is the second-highest position in India, as stated in Article 63-71 of Part V of the Indian Constitution. He is assigned a rank below the President under the formal warrant of precedence. The vice president is similarly elected by the people to how the president is. The vice president of the United States is a model for the vice president of India. The vice president serves as the ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha. From August 11, 2022, Jagdeep Dhankhar has served as India’s 14th vice president.
Election of Vice President
- Indirect election: The Vice-President is indirectly elected not directly by the people.
- He is elected by members of an electoral college comprised of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members.
- A proportional representation system based on a single transferable vote and secret ballot voting.
- The Vice-President is elected and nominated by members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Members of state legislative assemblies are not included.
- Any disputes concerning the election of the Vice President are investigated and resolved by the Supreme Court, whose decision is final.
- The Election Commission of India conducts elections for the office of 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.
- He ought to be an Indian national.
- He should be at least 35 years old.
- He ought to have been eligible for election as a Rajya Sabha member.
- He must not hold a paid position with the federal government, a state government, a local government, or any other public body.
- A candidate must have at least 20 electors from Members of Parliament submit their names as proposers and 20 electors submit their names as seconders to be nominated for election to the position of Vice-President.
- The Vice-President is elected by the members of the Electoral College, according to Article 66 of the Indian Constitution.
- The Electoral College consists of:
- Elected members of Rajya Sabha.
- Nominated members of Rajya Sabha.
- Elected members of Lok Sabha.
Vice-Presidential Oath or Affirmation
- Before taking office, the Vice-President must take an oath or affirmation and sign it.
- The oath of office is administered to the Vice-President by the President of India or anyone appointed on his behalf.
What is the procedure for voting?
- According to Article 68 of the Constitution, the election to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the outgoing vice-term president’s office must be completed before the term expires.
- The Election Commission of India has superintendence, direction, and control over the conduct of elections to the office of Vice-President of India under Article 324 of the Constitution, as amended by the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.
- The notification for election must be issued on or after the sixty-fifth day before the outgoing Vice-term President’s expires.
- Because all electors are members of both Houses of Parliament, the value of each Member of Parliament’s vote is the same, i.e.1 (one).
- The Election Commission, in consultation with the Central Government, appoints the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as the Returning Officer on a rotating basis.
- As a result, the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha will be appointed as the Returning Officer for the current election for the position of Vice-President of India.
- The Commission also decides to appoint Assistant Returning Officers to assist Returning Officers in Parliament House (Lok Sabha).
- The election is held in Parliament House, according to Rule 8 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.
Conditions of Office
- He should not be a member of either the House of Commons or the state legislature.
- If such an individual is elected Vice-President, he is considered to have vacated his seat in that House on the date he takes office as Vice-President.
- He should not hold any other profit-making position.
Term Of Office (Art. 67)
- The Vice-President is elected for a five-year term beginning on the day he takes office.
- He can resign from his position at any time by writing a letter to the President.
- The Vice-President can serve beyond his five-year term until his successor takes over.
- He is also eligible for re-election to that office for any number of terms.
- A vacancy in the office of Vice President can occur in any of the following ways:
- When he finished his five-year term.
- When he stepped down.
- When he was deposed by a vote in parliament.
- When he died while performing his duties.
- When his election is declared null and void, he is no longer eligible to hold office.
Salary and allowance
- Parliament has the authority to set the Vice President’s salary. His or her salary as Rajya Sabha Chairperson is currently Rs. 1.25 lakh.
- He is also entitled to a daily allowance, free furnished housing, medical, travel, and other benefits.
Vice President Removal
- He may also be removed from office before the end of his term.
- The Constitution makes no mention of any grounds for his removal.
- His removal does not require a formal impeachment.
- Resolutions for removal can only be introduced in the Rajya Sabha, not the Lok Sabha, with at least 14 days’ notice.
- Resolutions for removal should be passed by an effective majority (the majority of all Rajya Sabha members at the time) in the Rajya Sabha and by a simple majority in the Lok Sabha.
- It should be noted that the effective majority in India is merely a type of special majority, not a distinct one.
- 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.
Election Disputes Adjudication
- All doubts and disputes regarding the election of the Vice President are investigated and resolved by the Supreme Court, whose decision is final.
- The election of a Vice-President cannot be challenged on the basis that the electoral college was insufficient (i.e., the existence of any vacancy among the members of the electoral college).
- If the Supreme Court declares a person’s election as vice president void, acts done by that person before the date of the Supreme Court’s declaration are not invalidated (i.e., they continue to remain in force).
- The American vice-president, like the Indian vice-president, also serves as Chairman of the Senate, the American legislature’s Upper House.
- The vice-presidential emoluments are not specified in the constitution.
- He draws his regular salary in his capacity as the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
- When the Vice-President acts as President or performs the functions of the President, he is entitled to the President’s salary or allowance.
- When the Vice-President acts as President or performs the functions of the President, the Vice-President does not perform the duties of the Rajya Sabha Chairman. During this time, those responsibilities are carried out by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Chairperson of Rajya Sabha
- The Vice-President serves as the Rajya Sabha’s ex-officio chairman.
- As Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President is the unrivaled defender of the House’s eminence and dignity.
- Article 64: The Vice-President is ex officio Chairman of the Council of States and may not hold any other profit-making office.
- Article 89 of the Indian Constitution establishes the Chairman (Vice-President of India) and Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Powers And Functions
- After the President, the Vice President of India is the highest dignitary in India, with certain powers attached to the office. They are as follows:
- He serves as the Council of States’ ex-officio Chairman. His powers and functions in this capacity are similar to those of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- When the President’s office becomes vacant due to his resignation, impeachment, death, or other reasons, he acts as President.
Comparison of Indian Vice President and American Vice President
|Indian Vice-President||American Vice-President|
|● The 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 the Indian Vice-President was created to maintain political continuity.||● American Vice-President endowed with significant power and functions.|
The Vice-President as Acting President Article 65.
- The Vice-President acts as President, during a casual vacancy in the office of the President because of death, resignation or removal, or otherwise, until a new President is elected as soon as practicable and, in no case, later than six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy. When the President is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness, or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges those functions till the President resumes office. During this period, the Vice-President has all the powers, immunities, and privileges of the President and receives emoluments and allowances payable to the President.
Vice President of the Republic of India as Chairman of Rajya Sabha
- Article 63 of the Constitution of India provides that there shall be a Vice-President of India Articles 64 and 89 (1) provide that the Vice-President of India shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States i.e., Rajya Sabha and shall not hold any other office of profit. In the constitutional set-up, the holder of the office of Vice-President is part of the Executive but as Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, he is a part of Parliament. He has thus a dual capacity and holds two distinct and separate offices.
The dual role
- The Office of the Vice-President is one of the unique features of the Constitution of India. It has no exact parallel in the countries of other democratic constitutions of the world. There is no such office in other parliamentary systems of Government in Commonwealth countries or Ireland. The only Constitution, among the important democracies of the world, which provides for such an office, is that of the United States of America. But the office of the Vice-President of India though analogous is not identical to, that of the Vice-President in the United States of America for the obvious reason that it has a presidential system of Government and not a Parliamentary one as in India. And yet the Constitution-makers of India, while basically following the British Parliamentary system, decided to opt for the American system and provided that like the Vice-President in the U.S.A.. The Vice-President of India would preside over the Upper House and act as President in certain contingencies. Thus the Vice-President of India has been clothed with a dual capacity as the second head of the Executive and as the Presiding Officer of the Upper House of Parliament.
- This naturally casts an enormous burden of responsibility on the holder of the two offices. He has to keep the responsibilities of the two offices distinct and separate. The Chairman cannot allow his mind to be influenced by the knowledge acquired in his capacity as the Vice-President. While performing his duties as Vice-President, he cannot do anything which may impair his obligation as Chairman. It is remarkable that in India the holders of this high office as Vice-President have functioned within this fusion of roles and have received the admiration and appreciation of the nation as a whole. All of them have great personalities. They have occupied the Chair of the Rajya Sabha with singular distinction and have performed their functions with dignity and grace during all these years.
At a Glance: Constitutional Provisions
- Part V of the Indian Constitution discusses the office of the Vice-President of India. Articles 63 to 73 deal with the qualifications, election, and removal of India’s Vice-President.
|Article 63||states that there shall be a vice president of India|
|Article 64||states that the Vice-President shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha|
|Article 65||states that the Vice-President shall act as President in the vacancy of the office of the President until the new President is elected.|
|Article 66||deals with the provision of the Election of the Vice-President.|
|Article 67||mentions the Term of the Office of Vice-President.|
|Article 68||states about the Vacancy of the office of the Vice-President.|
|Article 69||deals with Oaths and affirmations by the Vice-President.|
|Article 71||deals with matters relating to, or connected with, the election of a President and Vice-President.|
List of Vice Presidents of India from 1952 to 2023
|Vice-Presidents of India||Term of Office|
|Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (First Vice-President of India)||13th May 1952 – 12th May 1957 13th May 1957 – 12th May 1962|
|Zakir Hussain||13th May 1962 – 12th May 1967|
|V. V. Giri||13th May 1967 – 3rd May 1969|
|Gopal Swarup Pathak||31st August 1969 – 30th August 1974|
|B. D. Jatti||31st August 1974 – 30th August 1979|
|Mohammad Hidayatullah||31st August 1979 – 30th August 1984|
|R. Venkataraman||31st August 1984 – 24th July 1987|
|Shankar Dayal Sharma||3rd September 1987 – 24th July 1992|
|K. R. Narayanan||21st August 1992 – 24th July 1997|
|Krishan Kant||21st August 1997 – 27th July 2002|
|Bhairon Singh Shekhawat||19th August 2002 – 21st July 2007|
|Mohammad Hamid Ansari||11th August 2007 – 11th August 2012 11th August 2012 – 10th August 2017|
|Venkaiah Naidu||11 August 2017 – August 10, 2022,|
|Jagdeep Dhankhar||Since 11 August 2022 – Incumbent|
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