List of Deputy Chairmen of Rajya Sabha of India

List of Deputy Chairmen of Rajya Sabha of India

The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is elected under Article 89 of the Indian Constitution. The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from among its members. The date of election of the Deputy Chairman is fixed by the Chairman. He ranks second after the Chairman in the Rajya Sabha. No specific qualifications are prescribed in the Constitution for being elected Deputy Chairman. The only qualification is that the Deputy chairman should be a member of the Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman. He is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.

Whenever the office of the Deputy Chairman falls vacant, the Rajya Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy. He vacates his office in any of the following three cases:

  • if he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • if he resigns by writing to the Chairman.
  • if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice. Further, when a resolution for the removal of the Deputy Chairman is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.

There have been 12 Deputy Chairmen in the Rajya Sabha of India. Refer to the table given below to learn about the Deputy Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha from 1952 to 2022.

Serial NumberNameTenure
1S. V. Krishna Moorthy Rao31 May 1952 – 1 March 1962
2Violet Alva19 April 1962 – 16 November 1969
3Bhaurao Dewaji Khobragade17 December 1969 – 2 April 1972
4Godey Murahari13 April 1972 – 20 March 1977
5Ram Niwas Mirdha30 March 1977 – 2 April 1980
6Shyamlal Yadav30 July 1980 – 29 December 1984
7Najma Heptullah25 January 1985 – 20 January 1986
8M. M. Jacob26 February 1986 – 22 October 1986
9Pratibha Patil18 November 1986 – 5 November 1988
7Najma Heptullah18 November 1988 – 10 June 2004
10K. Rahman Khan22 July 2004 – 2 April 2012
11P. J. Kurien21 August 2012 – 1 July 2018
12Harivansh Narayan Singh9 August 2018 – Incumbent

Powers and Functions

Some of the powers and functions of the Deputy Chairman are given below:

  • The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman’s office when it is vacant or when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President. He also acts as the Chairman when the Chairman is absent from the sitting of the House. In both the situations, he assumes all the powers of the Chairman.
  • When the Deputy Chairman is presiding over the House, then he cannot vote in the first instance. He can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.
  • When the Chairman presides over the House, the Deputy Chairman is like any other ordinary member of the House. He can speak in the House, participate in its proceedings and vote in the House.
  • The salary and allowance of the Deputy Chairman are fixed by Parliament and charged to the Consolidated Fund of India.

Some Important Facts about the Deputy Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha

Some important facts related to the Deputy Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha of India are given below:

  • S. V. Krishna Moorthy Rao was the first Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Violet Alva was the first female Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  •  Pratibha Patil is the ninth Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and the first female President of India.
  • Najma Heptullah was the longest serving Deputy Speaker of the Rajya Sabha.


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