The Union Executive [i] President [ii] Vice -President [iii] Prime Minister [iv] Central Council of Ministers [v] Cabinet Committees [vi] Attorney General of India
63: The Vice-President Of India 64: The Vice-President to be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States 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. 66: Election of Vice-President 67: Term of office of Vice-President 68: Time of holding an election to fill the vacancy in the office of Vice-President and the term of office of person elected to fill the casual vacancy 69: Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President 70: Discharge of President’s functions in other contingencies 71: Matters relating to, or connected with, the election of a President or Vice-President The Vice-President The Vice-president accords the second highest office in the country.
- The article dealing with the Office of Vice-President of India
- Election of the Vice-President
- The Vice-President is elected not directly by the people but by members of the electoral college consisting of:
NOTE: The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states are included in the case of the president as he enjoys the administrative power to both the center and the states.
- Both elected and nominated members of both the Houses of Parliament;
- It doesn’t include the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states
Article 66 talks about Qualifications for Election as President. A person to be eligible for election as Vice-President should fulfill the following qualifications:
- Qualifications, Oath, and Conditions of the Office:
- 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.
- He should not hold any office of profit under the state government or any local authority or any other public authority.
Article 69: Oath or affirmation by the President Before entering upon his office, the Vice-President has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation. In his oath, the Vice-President swears:
- The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of Vice-President must be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders.
- Security Deposit: Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.
- Oath or Affirmation by the Vice-President
- to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India; and
- to faithfully discharge the duties of his office. The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.
- Administration of Oath by CJI- The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or the person appointed by him in that behalf.
- Conditions of Vice-President’s Office:
- The Constitution lays down the following conditions of the President’s office:
- He 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.
- He should not hold any other office of profit.
A vacancy in the Vice-President’s office can occur in any of the following ways:
- Term, Impeachment, and Vacancy
- Article 67 talks about Term of President’s office
- The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
- Resignation: He can resign from his office by addressing the resignation letter to the President at any time.
- Eligibility for Re-election: He is also eligible for re-election to that office. He may be elected for any number of terms.
- Article 67(b) talks about the Impeachment of Vice-President:
- The Vice-President cannot be formally impeached like the President.
- The constitution states that the Vice-President can be removed by:
- a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an absolute majority (more than 50% of the total membership ) and
- agreed to by a simple majority (50% of present and voting members) of the Lok Sabha.
- 14 days advance notice has been given to move such resolution.
- Grounds for the removal are not mentioned in the Constitution.
- Past Incidents: No Vice-President or ex officioVice-President has ever faced removal
- Article 68 deals with the vacancy in the Vice-President’s Office:
- On the expiry of his tenure of five years.
- By his resignation.
- On his removal.
- By his death
- When he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.
Powers and Functions of Vice-President are two-fold:
- Vacancy due to the expiry of the term: When the vacancy is caused by the expiration of the term of the sitting vice-president, an election to fill the vacancy must be held before the expiration of the term.
- Vacancy due resignation, removal, death or otherwise: If the office falls vacant by resignation, removal, death or otherwise, the election to fill the vacancy should be held as soon as possible after the occurrence of the vacancy.
- The newly- elected vice-president remains in office for a full term of five years from the date he assumes charge of his office.
- Election Disputes:
- Supreme Court’s decision is final in case of All doubts and disputes in connection with the election of the Vice-President.
- The election of a person as Vice-President cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete (i.e., the existence of any vacancy among the members of the electoral college).
- 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 (i.e., they continue to remain in force).
- Powers and Functions of the President:
While acting as President or discharging the functions of President, the Vice-President does not perform the duties of the office of the chairman of Rajya Sabha. During this period, those duties are performed by the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
- He is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. His powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of Lok Sabha. In this respect, he resembles the American vice-president who also acts as the Chairman of the Senate—the Upper House of the American legislature.
- When a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise vice-president act as President. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected. Further, when the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.
- Emoluments of Vice-President:
- Emoluments for the Vice-President has not been fixed by the constitution. He draws his regular salary in his capacity as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- In 2008, the Parliament increased the salary of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1.25 lakh per month9. In addition, he is entitled to the daily allowance, free furnished residence, medical, travel, and other facilities.
- During any period when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President, he is not entitled to the salary or allowance payable to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, but the salary and allowance of the President.
- Comparison between Indian and American Vice-Presidents:
- The American Vice-President succeeds to the presidency when it falls vacant, and remains President for the unexpired term of his predecessor.
- The Indian Vice-President, on the other hand, 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.
- The Constitution has not assigned any significant function to the Vice-President in that capacity. Hence, scholars called him ‘His Superfluous Highness’.
- This office was created with a view to maintaining the political continuity of the Indian State.