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Indian Polity / Union Executive

Election, Vacancy, Powers and Functions of Vice President of India


    Article 63 talks about the office of the Vice President. Vice President is elected similar to that of the President but the electoral college is different. He is elected by the electoral college consisting of all the members of the Parliament including the nominated members. In the election of Vice President, the value of each vote is same and is equal to 1.

    The nomination of Vice Presidential candidate should be proposed by 20 members and it should be supported by 20 members. He has to make the deposit of Rs 15,000 in RBI. Parliament of India fixes salary and other allowances of Vice President and it is charged on Consolidated Fund of India. He receives the salary as chairman of Rajya Sabha. The salary cannot be cut down at any instant. He is also eligible for pension after his retirement. Tenure of the Vice President is generally 5 years. Constitution of India did not provide information for acting Vice President.

    Qualifications required to contest as the Vice President of India

    • He must be a citizen of India either natural or naturalized.
    • He should have completed 35 years of age at the date of notification for the election of vice President of India.
    • He should not have any proven criminal charges.
    • He should not hold any office of profit. However, certain public offices are exempted from office of profit.
    • He should not be declared as financially insolvent and he should be physically as well as mentally sound.

    Vacancy for the office of the Vice President

    • Completion of the Tenure.
    • Resigning from the office by addressing it to the President.
    • By removal, which is not an impeachment but a simple removal process. No specific ground is mentioned in our Constitution for the removal of Vice President, usually violation of Constitution is presumed.
    • If the Supreme Court of India invalidates the election of the Vice President.
    • During the death of incumbent Vice President.

    Powers and Function of the Vice President

    • Vice President is the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha.
    • He acts as President in case of vacuum occurs in the office of President because of resignation, removal, death or invalidation of election for maximum of 6 months.
    • Vice President of India discharges functions of the President if the President is unable to function due to ill health, being in abroad or any other ground. There is no time duration as to what duration he will discharge such function. He will discharge until the President is available.
    • Vice President while discharging duty as President, should not preside over Rajya Sabha.
Extra Information

    • Prior to 1961, the Vice President used to be elected in a joint sitting of the Parliament. But in 1961, in the 11th Constitutional Amendment, this system was changed. Now, he is being elected by both the Houses of Parliament separately.
    • Procedure for removal of Vice President - The removal procedure must be initiated only in the Rajya Sabha because he is ex-officio chairman of Upper House. Before such resolution is introduced, a notice must be served 14 days in advance to the Rajya Sabha and it must be signed by 1/4th members of Rajya Sabha. After that, if the Upper House approves the motion with a majority vote ( effective majority ) and then if Lower House approves the motion with same majority, the Vice President is removed. Both the Houses have to approve separately. In case of conflict there will not be any joint session, therefore the motion is defeated. Till today, no Vice President is removed.