Article 63 of the Constitution says that there shall be a Vice-President of India. The Vice-President is accorded a rank next to the President in the official warrant of precedence. He occupies the second highest office in the country. According to the Constitution, the Vice-President functions as ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Being ex-officio Chairman means that he is the Chairman in the capacity of being the Vice-President. His main function is to preside over the meetings of Rajya Sabha, as is done by the Speaker in the Lok Sabha. The post of Vice President of India is modelled on the lines of the American Vice-President.

Qualifications for Election as Vice-President

In order to be qualified for election as Vice-President, a person must:

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should have completed the age of 35 years.
  • He should be qualified to be elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government or any local authority or any other public authority. But a sitting President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any state or a Minister either for the Union or for any state is not disqualified for election as Vice-President.

Furthermore, the nomination of a candidate for election to the office of Vice-President must receive the consent of a minimum of 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders. Every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs 15,000 with the Reserve Bank of India.

Election of the Vice-President

 The Vice-President of India is elected not directly by the people but by members of the electoral college. This electoral college includes the members of both Houses of Parliament. Thus, this electoral college is different from the electoral college for the election of the President in the following two ways:

  • It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament.
  • It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies.

The Vice-President is elected according to the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote, and the voting is by secret ballot. Refer to the table given below to learn about the Vice-President candidates from 1952 to 2022.

Serial NumberElection YearVictorious CandidateMain Rival Candidate
11952Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanUnopposed
21957Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanUnopposed
31962Zakir HusainN. Samant Singh
41967Varahagiri Venkata GiriProf. Habib
51969Gopal Swarup PathakH. V. Kamath
61974B. D. JattiN. E. Horo
71979M. HidayatullahUnopposed
81984R. VenkataramanB. C. Kambley
91987Shanker Dayal SharmaUnopposed
101992K. R. NarayananKaka Joginder Singh
111997Krishan KantSurjeet Singh Barnala
122002Bhairon Singh ShekhawatShushil Kumar Shinde
132007M. Hamid AnsariNajma Heptulla
142012M. Hamid AnsariJaswant Singh
152017M. Venkaiah NaiduGopalkrishna Gandhi
162022Jagdeep DhankharMargaret Alva

All disputes in connection with election of the Vice-President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final. The election of a person as Vice-President cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete. Such person who is neither a candidate nor an elector cannot file a suit challenging the validity of the election of the Vice-President.

The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.

Conditions of Vice-President’s Office

The Constitution lays down the following two conditions of the Vice-President’s office:

  • He shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the Legislature of any State. If a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the Legislature of any State be elected Vice-President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Vice-President.
  • He shall not hold any other office of profit.

The Constitution of India has not fixed any emoluments for the Vice-President. Due to his being the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice-President gets a salary. In addition, he is entitled to a daily allowance, free furnished residence, car, telephone, medical, travel and other facilities.

The former Vice-Presidents get a pension of 50 percent of the current Vice-President’s salary. In addition, the former Vice-Presidents are entitled to a furnished residence, car, medical treatment, phone, travel and other facilities. A spouse of a deceased Vice-President is also entitled to a family pension equal to half of a retired Vice President’s pension, a furnished residence, a car, medical treatment, phone, travel, and other facilities.

During any period when the Vice-President acts as the President or discharges the duties 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.

Term of Office of Vice-President

The Vice-President is elected for a term of five years, but even after the expiry of the term, he may continue to hold office until his successor enters the office. However, he can resign from his office at any time by addressing the resignation letter to the President. He can also be removed from the office before the completion of his term. A formal impeachment is not required for his removal. He can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an absolute majority (i.e., a majority of the total members of the House) and agreed to by the Lok Sabha. But no such resolution can be moved unless at least 14 day’s advance notice has been given. Remember that resolution for removal of Vice-President can be introduced only in the Rajya Sabha and not in the Lok Sabha.  However, no ground has been mentioned in the Constitution for his removal.

There is a provision for the re-election of a person who currently holds or has previously held the office of Vice-President. He may be elected for any number of terms.

Vacancy in the Office of the Vice-President

A vacancy in the office of the Vice-President may be caused in any of the following ways:

  • On the expiry of his tenure of five years.
  • By his resignation.
  • By his death.
  • On his removal.
  • Otherwise, for example, his election is declared void.

If the vacancy is going to be 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. In case of any delay in conducting the election of new Vice-President by any reason, the outgoing Vice-President continues to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

If the Vice-President’s office falls vacant by his resignation, death, removal or otherwise, then election to fill the vacancy should be held as soon as possible after the occurrence of the vacancy.

Powers and Duties of the Vice-President

The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, which means that whoever is the Vice-President, he presides over the Rajya Sabha and performs the normal duties of a presiding officer. These include maintenance of order in the House; allowing members to speak and ask questions; and putting bills and motions to vote. Since the Vice-President is not a member of the Rajya Sabha, he cannot vote in the House. But, in the case of a tie (equality of votes in favour and against a bill), the Vice President exercises his casting vote so that a decision can be reached.

If ever a vacancy arises in the office of President, due to death, resignation or impeachment, the Vice-President officiates as the President. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected. In case the President is temporarily unable to discharge his functions, the Vice-President may be called upon to discharge his functions without becoming the officiating 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.

To know about the Article Related to the Vice-President, refer to the table

Article No.Subject Matter
63The Vice-President of India
64The Vice-President to be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States
65The Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence of President
66Election of Vice-President
67Term of office of Vice-President
68Time of holding election to fill vacancy in the office of Vice-President and the term of office of person elected to fill casual vacancy
69Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President
70Discharge of President’s functions in other contingencies
71Matters relating to, or connect with, the election of Vice-President


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