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Vice President of India

Hello Readers
In the Previous article we covered all important Points on The President of India, In the continuation of the same series , we are providing you the most exam oriented point on The Vice president of India, how he is selected, what are his duties and the powers he enjoys. We have covered everything required in context of SSC and FCI exams. Hope you like it and share it with your friends too.

Vice-President Of India
·        There shall be a Vice-President of India (Article 63)
·        The Vice-President of India is the second highest constitutional office in the country.
Note: The  articles 63-73 which deal with the qualifications, election and removal of Vice-President of India.

Article 64 :
The Vice-President to be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States



Article 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

Article 66 : Election :
·        The Vice-President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament.
·        However, his election is different from that of the President as the state legislatures have no part in it.

Criteria
·        Citizen of India
·        More than 35 years of Age
·        Posses the qualification of membership of Rajya Sabha
·        Not hold any office of profit under union, state of local authority. However, for this purpose, the President, Vice-President, Governor of a State and a Minister of the Union or a State, are not held to be holding an office of profit

Tenure:
·        Five years and is eligible for immediate reelection.

Article 69: Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President
Every Vice-President shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation in the following form, that is to say

“I, A.B., do swear in the name of God /solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and that I will discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”

Article 71 : -
·        Matters relating to, or connected with, the election of a President or Vice-President

Article 72: -
·        Power of President to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases

Functions:
·        Acts as ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
·        Officiates as President in case of death, resignation or removal of the latter.
·        Functions as the President when the President is unable to discharge his functions due to illness, absence or any other cause.

Important Question of Above notes:
  1. Can Vice-President of India continue to be in office irrespective of the expiry of his term of 5 years?
Ans: Yes. Until the successor assumes office.

  1. 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? 
Ans : Constitution is silent on this matter.

  1. Who performs the Vice-President’s function as the Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) when a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice-President of India? 
Ans : Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, or any other member of the Rajya Sabha authorised by the President of India.

  1. Salary for Vice-President for his role as Vice-President of India? 
Ans : No salary for the role as Vice-President. Salary is for the role as ex-officio Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).

  1. Salary for Vice-President for his role as ex-officio Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha)?
 Ans : Rs.1.25 lakhs.

  1. Salary for Vice-President when Vice-President acts as President of India? 
Ans : He will get salary of Indian President, ie Rs.1.5 lakh. But he will stop getting the salary of ex-officio chaiman of Rajya Sabha.

  1. Can nominated members participate in the election and removal process of Vice President? 
Ans: Yes. (NB: For Presidential election nominated members cannot participate.)

  1. Vice-President is neither an elected nor nominated member of Rajya Sabha. But being the chairman of Rajya Sabha, can he cast vote? 
Ans : Yes. The Chairman has a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.

  1. How can the Vice-President of India removed from his office? 
Ans: Vice-President may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council of States passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council and agreed to by the House of the People; but no resolution for the purpose of this clause shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

Removal of Vice-President of India:
Aspirants are requested to note a mistake which you might find in many textbooks on Indian Polity, under the topic ‘Removal of the Vice-President of India’. I have seen text-books mentioning that removal of Vice-President needs absolute majority (half of the total strength of the house). But this cannot be right.

Let’s check once again what is mentioned in Constitution, Article 67(b).
A Vice-President may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council of States passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council and agreed to by the House of the People; but no resolution for the purpose of this clause shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

Let’s see what is the importance of the word “then” here.

 Suppose the present strength of Rajya Sabha is 245 seats. And if 45 seats are vacant, then the strength of the house gets reduced to 200. So a majority of all the then members of the Council means that removal of Vice-President needs the approval of  101 Rajay Sabha MPs.
As shown above, this majority is not Absolute Majority (Total Strength of the House), but Effective Majority (Total Strength of the House – Vacancies). Whether the phrase “a majority of all the then members of the Council” can be interpreted as Simple Majority (Majority among those who are present and voting) is a matter of debate. But anyways, the removal does not need absolute majority or special majority. It can be said that resolution for removal of Vice-President requires an effective majority in Rajya Sabha and a simple majority in Loksabha.

Note: President’s impeachment resolution requires special majority (2/3rd of total strength of the house) at both houses to get itself passed.


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