June 25, 2014

Vice President of India - Office, Term, Election, Removal, Functions and Powers- Explained

THE OFFICE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT: The Vice-President of India is the second highest constitutional office in the country and is comparatively insignificant.

In order to be elected as Vice-President, a person must be
(a) Citizen of India;
(b) must not be less 35 Years of age and
(c) must he qualified for election as a Member of the Rajya Sabha. He should not hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State.

Normal term of office of the Vice- President is five years. However, he continues to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

-Submits by writing to the President. The resignation becomes effective from the day it is accepted.
Important Note: The Constitution is silent on who performs the duties of the Vice-President, when a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice-President of India, before the expiry of his term, or when the Vice-President acts as the President of India.

  • The Vice-President can be removed from office by a resolution of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), passed by a majority of its members at that time and agreed by simple majority of Lok sabha .
  • A resolution for this purpose may be moved only after a notice of at least a minimum of 14 days has been given of such an intention.
  • Salary =  1,25,000 per month. There are no additional emoluments for the office.
  • He is also entitled to a pension at the rate of fifty per cent of the salary.
  • When the Vice-President discharges the functions of the President, he ceases to perform the duties of the Chairman of the Rajya  Sabha.
  • While acting as President, he shall receive the same emoluments and allowances as the President gets.
  • The election is to be held no later than 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice President.
  • Indirect Election. The election will be by the method of proportional representation with single transferable vote.
  • Each nomination paper should be proposed by at least twenty electors (MPs) and another twenty electors should second the same. Earlier the requirement was five proposers and five seconders.
  • Security Deposit by candidate contesting for Vice President Election is  Rs. 15,000.
  • Method of election of the Vice-President is different from that of the President, in as much as the State Legislatures have no part in it.
  • He is elected by an Electoral College consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament. Voters stack-rank the candidates, assigning 1 to their first preference, 2 to their second preference, and so on. The number of votes required by a candidate to secure the election is calculated by dividing the total number of votes by two, and adding one to the quotient by disregarding any remainder. If no candidate obtains the required number of first-preference votes, the candidate with the least number of first-preference votes is eliminated and his/her second-preference votes are transferred. The process is repeated till a candidate obtains the requisite number of votes. First, the first preference votes are counted. If there is no candidate and the number of first preference votes secured by each candidate is ascertained. Nominated members can also participate in the election
  • All disputes arising in connection with the election of the Vice President are petitioned to the Supreme Court of India, which inquires into the matter. The petition is heard by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court, which decides on the matter. The decision of the Supreme Court is final
Constitution confers upon the Vice- President the following functions and duties:
 (i) Article 64 The normal function of the Vice- President is to act as the Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. As Chairman of the Rajya  Sabha, he regulates debates and proceedings of the House and decides the order of speeches. He decides the admissibility of a resolution or of questions. He may suspend or adjourn the business of the House in case of grave disorder. He issues directions to the Chairpersons of various Committees in all matters relating to their working.
  • As the Presiding Officer, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the unchallenged guardian of the prestige and dignity of the House.
  • He is also the principal spokesman of the House and represents the collective voice to the outside world.
  • He ensures that the proceedings of the House are conducted in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions, rules, practices and conventions and that decorum is maintained in the House.
  • He is the custodian and guardian of the rights and privileges of the House and its members.
  • As Chairman of the Upper house, he is not bound to give reasons for his decisions.
  • His rulings cannot be questioned or criticized and to protest against the ruling of the Chairman is a contempt of the House.
(ii) Article 65 :The Vice-President will take over the office of the President normally under these situations:
(a)death of the President
(b) resignation of the President,
(c) removal of the President, and
(d) when President, owing to absence, illness or any other cause, is unable to discharge his functions.
Note: In the event of the President's death, resignation or removal, the Vice- President acts as President until a new President is elected and enters upon his office.


- represents the country on goodwill and friendship missions to other countries or represents the country abroad on occasions of national importance in those countries.
-  is also consulted on formulation and implementation of Union policies. Though he is not connected with the day-to-day affairs of the Union, he is posted with the decisions of the Cabinet so that he has with him a complete picture of the affairs of the Union Government.
- By convention he is also the Chancellor of some universities and in that capacity he is closely associated with many eminent institutions of higher learning.

Following 6 Persons, who were the Vice President of India subsequently became the President of India: Vice presidents who became  President India Later
  • Dr.S.Radhakrishnan (1st Vice President of India)
  • Dr.Zakir Hussain (2nd Vice President of India)
  • Dr.V.V.Giri
  • Dr.R.Venkataraman
  • Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma
  • Dr.K.R.Narayanan
List of All Vice President's of India:
Took office
Left office
President of that Period
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
13 May 1952
12 May 1962
Zakir Hussain
13 May 1962
12 May 1967
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Varahagiri Venkata
13 May 1967
3 May 1969
Zakir Hussain
Swarup Pathak
31 August 1969
30 August 1974
Varahagiri Venkata
Basappa Danappa Jatti
31 August 1974
30 August 1979
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Muhammad Hidayat Ullah
31 August 1979
30 August 1984
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
31 August 1984
27 July 1987
Giani Zail
Shankar Dayal Sharma
3 September 1987
24 July 1992
Kocheril Raman
21 August 1992
24 July 1997
Shankar Dayal Sharma
Krishan Kant
21 August 1997
27 July 2002
Kocheril Raman
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
19 August 2002
21 July 2007
P. J. Abdul Kalam
Mohammad Hamid Ansari
11 August 2007
7 August 2012
Mohammad Hamid Ansari
re-elected on 7 August 2012
Till date
Pranab Mukuerjee

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1952-1962) : Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Indian Scholar, Philosopher, Writer and statesman, was born in 1888. Elected as the First Vice President in 1952 and later the President. He taught at Oxford University for 16years. He was Chairman of UNESCO. 'The Hindu view of Life' and 'The India Philosophy' are his books. He was Awarded with 'Bharat Ratna' in 1954. He Died in 1975.

Attempt this Quiz:

Q) Which of the following Article is dealt with the election of Vice-President? a) Article 62 b) Article 64 c) Article 66 d) Article 68

Q) The Vice-President shall submit his resignation to a) Lok Sabha Speaker b) Vice-President of Rajya Sabha c) Prime Minister d) President

Q) The term of office of the Vice-President is a) 7 years b) 6 years c) 5 years d) 4 years

Q) What are the qualifications to be elected as Vice-President? a) He is citizen of India b) He has completed the age of thirty five years c) He is qualified for election as a member of the Council of States. d) All the above

Q) The Vice-President is elected by a) Governors b) Chief Ministers c) Members of the State Legislative Assemblies d) Members of the both houses of the Parliament

Q) Who shall discharge the functions of the President in case of his absence or illness? a) Prime Minister b) Home Minister c) Lok Sabha Speaker d) Vice-President

Q) Which of the following Article is dealt with the disputes in connection of President or Vice-President? a) Article 71 b) Article 62 c) Article 68 d) Article 61

Q) All the disputes in connection with the election of President or Vice-President shall be decided by the a) Supreme Court b) Election Commission c) High Court d) Lok Sabha Speaker

Q) The Vice-President shall make oath or affirmation before the a) Chief Justice of India b) Prime Minister c) President d) Lok Sabha Speaker

Q) The Vice-President may be removed from his office by the a) Legislative Assemblies of the state b) Parliament c) President d) Prime Minister

Q) Who shall act as President in case of death, resignation and removel of President? a) Chief Justice India b) Lok Sabha Speaker c) Vice-President d) Prime Minister

Q) The Vice-President is ex officio Chairman of the a) Rajya Sabha b) Lok Sabha c) Planning Commission d) National Development Commission

Q) Which of the following Article is dealt with the Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President? a) Article 63 b) Article 61 c) Article 62 d) Article 69

Q) Which of the following Article states that the Vice-President is ex officio Chairman of the Council of States(Rajya Sabha)? a) Article 60 b) Article 61 c) Article 62 d) Article 64

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