Vice President – Election, Powers and Functions
The Vice President is the second highest office of the India after office of President. But he is actually vested with negligible powers as compared to lower rank persons such as council of ministers etc. So some scholars describe his office as filler which maintain only political continuity of the Indian State.
- Method – The method of election of Vice President is quite similar as of President i.e. the Vice President is elected by method of indirect election and in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote and voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.
- Electoral College – The Vice President is elected by Electoral College which shall consist of all elected and nominated members of parliament. But there is no representation for state legislature in election of Vice President.
- Difference with Election of President – Unlike Vice President Election in Presidential election, a) no nominated member of parliament is member of Electoral College and b) all elected members of State/UT legislature are member of Electoral College.
- Dr B R Ambedkar said that as President is Head of the State, his functions and powers are extended to both centre and state administration. So representation of state legislature is required.
- Election Dispute – Any dispute in relation to election of Vice President shall be inquired and decided by Supreme Court. Such petition shall be heard by a five-judge bench of the SC. If election is declared void by SC then acts done by him before such declaration can’t be invalidated (they continue to be in force).
The person to be appointed as Vice President of India contains shall fulfill following conditions:-
- He should be a citizen of India;
- He has completed age of 35 yrs;
- He should be qualified for election as a member of RS;
- Any person qualified to be elected and intending to stand for election as Vice President is required to be nominated by at least 20 MPs as proposers and at least 20 MPs as seconders.
- He shall not be a member of either house of parliament or of a House of legislature of any State/UT and if he is a member, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat on the date he enters in the office of Vice President.
- The Vice President should not hold any other office of profit.
Term and Vacancy
- The Vice President holds office for term of 5yrs from date on which he enter in the office.
- Removal – Vice President can be removed by a resolution of RS passed by absolute majority (i.e. majority of total membership of the house) and agreed by LS by simple majority. But such resolution is subjected to 14 days prior notice to him. No ground is mentioned in the Constitution for his removal.
- The office of Vice President shall assume to be vacant in any of the conditions
- If he resigns;
- On his death,
- On expiry of term;
- If removed by the house or RS;
- If election is declared void or becomes disqualified to hold office.
The election shall be held as soon as possible in case of unnatural vacancy and newly elected vice president shall hold office for full term of five years from date he enters in the office.
Powers and Functions
- The Vice President is ex-officio Chairman of RS and performs functions same as of Speaker of LS or others as prescribed in constitution or rules of parliament.
- He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of President and enjoys all such powers and immunities as enjoyed by President of India. He can act as President for maximum of 6 months period. During this period when he is acting as President, he can’t discharge or perform duties of the office of Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
India and USA
The American Vice President act as President when office becomes vacant but unlike India he remain act as President until expiry of term of his previous elected President.