Vice President
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Vice President – Indian Polity Notes

The Vice President is second highest constitutional office in India. He acts as the President in absence of incumbent President. Constitution makes the vice president, ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha. Being presiding officer of Rajya Sabha, the Vice President becomes final interpreter of the constitution and rules of procedure inside Rajya Sabha. 

Constitutional Provisions:

Articles Description 
Article 63Provides for office of Vice President 
Article 64Vice President as ex officio chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Article 65Vice President to act as to discharge functions of President during his absence.
Article 66Election of Vice President 
Article 67Term of office of Vice President 
Article 68Holding elections for Vice President in case of vacancy 
Article 69Oath of office 

In Indian context, office of Vice President and duties are borrowed from USA.

Election Procedure::

  • Vice President (VP) is elected by electoral college comprising all members of both houses of parliament.
  • MLAs don’t participate but nominated MPs do.
  • Vice President is elected using proportional representation by single transferrable vote.

Qualifications:

  • Citizen of India.
  • Should have completed age of 35 years.
  • Shall be eligible to get elected on Rajya Sabha.
  • The Vice President shall not be member of parliament or state legislature. If he is MP or MLA, he deemed to have vacated seat upon entering into office of Vice President.
  • Shall not hold any office of profit.

Powers and Functions:

  • The prime responsibility of the vice president is to act as ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The VP doesn’t get any salary or allowance as VP but as chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • By virtue of being chairman of Rajya Sabha, he presides over sittings of Rajya Sabha.
  • Chairman is final interpreter of constitution and rules of procedure of Rajya Sabha inside house.
  • Since he is not a member of Rajya Sabha, he has no right to vote but has casting vote in case of tie.
  • The VP as chairman also have disciplinary powers which can be used against unruly behaviour of MPs.
  • Appoints department related standing committees of Rajya Sabha.
  • Under any circumstances which may lead to vacancy in the office of President, the vice President act as President.
    • In case death of President, the VP remains as President until elections for new President are conducted within period of 6 months.
  • If the President is unable to discharge his duties due to illness, absence or any other cause, the VP shall be discharging the function until the President resumes his office.
  • Article 70 provides for VP to discharge duties of the President during other contingencies. This means the VP is eligible to discharge duties of President which are not expressly mentioned in chapter-1 of part-V of the constitution.
  • While discharging duties as President, the VP is eligible to receive salary, allowances, emoluments which are given to President under article 65(3).

Term of Office and Removal:

  • Article 67 deals with term of office of the VP. It provides for term of 5 years. The VP continues in office till successor enters into office.
  • Before expiry of tenure, he can resign by writing to the President.
  • Article 68(1) provides that election for office of the Vice President shall be conducted before expiry of tenure of the current Vice President. So there shall not be vacancy of office of Vice President.
  • Constitution doesn’t provide any grounds for impeachment or removal of VP. 
  • The Vice President can be removed by resolution passed by Rajya Sabha by effective majority agreed to by Lok Sabha (Lok Sabha needs to pass resolution by simple majority).
  • Like Presidential Impeachment, 14 days notice in writing shall be given to the Vice President.
  • Resolution for removal of the Vice President can only be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. It needs effective majority of Rajya Sabha.

Practice Questions:

Prelims

Q1. Who amongst the following elects the Vice President of India? Select the correct answer from the codes given below : [UPSC 2012]

  1. Members of Lok Sabha
  2. Members of Rajya Sabha
  3. Members Legislative
  4. Assemblies Members of Legislative Councils

Choose from the options given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

To complete UPSC Polity Notes, Click Here

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