About the office of Vice President of India
The Vice-President occupies the second highest office in the country.
- He is accorded a rank next to the President in the official warrant of precedence. This office is modelled on the lines of the American Vice-President.
- The Vice-President, like the president, is elected not directly by the people but by the method of indirect election.
Election of Vice President:
- He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament.
- It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament.
- It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies.
Note: The 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A person should fulfil the following 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.
Note: 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 oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.
Conditions of Office
- The Constitution says the person elected as Vice President 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.
Term of Office
- The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
- However, he can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the President.
- He can also be removed from the office before completion of his term.
- A formal impeachment is not required for his removal.
- He can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an absolute majority (ie, a majority of the total members of the House) and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
- But, no such resolution can be moved unless at least 14 days’ advance notice has been given.
Note: No ground has been mentioned in the Constitution for his removal.
Powers and Functions
- He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise
Vacancy 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.
- Otherwise, for example, when he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.