Polity Notes

VICE-PRESIDENT OF INDIA

Vice-President of India is a Constitutional post under Article-63 of our constitution. Vice-President is second senior most executive of India.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, was our first Vice-President and presently Mr. Venkaiya Naidu is our 13th Vice-President. Dr. Hamid Ansari, was our 12th president. He held this office for 2 terms (ten years.)

Tenure of Vice-President is 5 years, but tenure is not fixed. This means he can be removed before completion of his tenure. The power to remove Vice-President lies with our Parliament. Rajya Sabha is more powerful on this issue. Any motion to remove Vice-President can be introduced in Rajya Sabha only and the same must be passed by its special majority i,e, by 2/3 majority. Then the motion is placed before the Lok Sabha and after getting the assent of Lok Sabha by its simple majority, the removal motion stands passed by Parliament and Vice-President stand removed from his post. This have never happened in history of India, even no removal motion has been introduced in Rajya Sabha till date to remove Vice-President.

Qualification

Any citizen of India, above 35 years of age and eligible to be elected as a member of Rajya Sabha can contest election of Vice-President. He must not be holding any office or profit under Govt. of India, Govt. of State or under any local or other authority under the control of any said Govts (may hold the post of President, Vice-President, Governor, Minister of Union or of any State Govt.).

Vice-President is Ex-officio, Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. Although he is not a member of Rajya Sabha but still he is Chairperson of Rajya Sabha and presides proceedings of the same. Our Constitution does not prescribe duties and powers of Vice-President. He has all duties and powers in capacity of Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. In case Vice-President want to resign, he can submit his resignation to the President.

Election of Vice-President

The post of Vice-President is elected one. Election are conducted by Election Commission of India. Any dispute regarding election of Vice-President is resolved by Supreme Court.

System of Election

Vice-President is elected by system of proportional representation system by single transferable vote.

Salary of Vice-President is Rs. 4 lakh per month. He is paid salary in capacity of Chairperson of Rajya Sabha (not in capacity of Vice-President). Salary is taxable.

In case of death or resignation by the President, Vice-President do assumes his charge as Acting President for a maximum period of 6 months. It is mandatory that elections for new President must be conducted within 6 months to elect new President. When Vice-President take charge as Acting President, the post of Vice-President remains vacant and Acting President do not chair the proceeding of Rajya Sabha.

In 1969, after the death of President Dr. Zakir Hussain, Vice-President V.V. Giri was sworn in as Acting President. He too resigned after one month. Thereafter Chief Justice of India Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah took over as Acting President. There after V.V. Giri became President after winning the election

In 1977, after the death of Farkruddin Ali Ahmed, Vice-President Sh. B.D. Jatti took charge as Acting President of India. Elections were conducted by ECI to elect a new President. Mr. Neelam Sanjeev Reddy was elected and he became our President and Sh. B.D. Jatti returned back to the office of Vice-President.

Note:- In U.S.A. in case of death or resignation of the President, Vice-President do assumes of office of President for the remaining period of the President. Elections are held to elect President only after 4 years on regular basis. After the murder of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Vice-President Mr. Johnson became President for the rest of the tenure of Kennedy. Similarly in 1974 after the resignation of President Richard Nixon (due to Watergate scandal), Vice-President Zerald Ford became President for the rest of the tenure of Nixon.

Process of Election

Vice-President is elected by an Electoral College consisting of elected as well as nominated members of Parliament (in Lok Sabha 543 + in Rajya Sabha 245, total 788 members), only these 788 members of Parliament have the right to vote in the election of Vice-President. The vote value of each member is one. Every member has to indicate his preferences on the Ballot Paper.

Sample Image of a Ballot Paper

Name of the Candidates. Preference for example.
A 2
B 7
C 1
D 4
E 6
F 5
G 3

Every voter has to mark his/her preferences on the ballot paper. First of all, invalid votes are separated and rejected. Then first preference votes are counted. If any candidates receives the desired quota, he is declared as elected. If none of the candidate receives the desired quota then the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and second preference votes are counted. Then if any candidates secures the desired quota, by adding 1st and 2nd preference vote, then he is declared elected and this process continues till a candidate gets the desired quota.

In the last Vice-Presidential election held in August, 2017, total valid vote were 760, then a quota was calculated as under:—

Quota = (Total no.of valid votes / Total no.f candidates to be elected + 1) + 1

= (760 / 1 + 1) + 1 = 380 + 1 = 381

After counting of 1st preference votes Mr. V. Naidu got 516 votes while Mr. Gopal Krishna Gandhi got 244 votes. The returning officer declared Mr. V. Naidu as elected for new Vice-President of India and issued him winning certificate. The oath of office to Vice-President is administered by President. Mr. V. Naidu took oath & assumed office on 11th August, 2017 for a five years term.

Election Commission appoints Secretary General of Lok Sabha and Secretary General of Rajya Sabha as returning officer alternatively in Vice-Presidential election. To eliminate non-serious candidate, the nomination paper of a candidate must be proposed by at least 20 members of Electoral College and seconded by at least 20 members of Electoral College. Every candidate has to submit a security deposit of Rs. 15000/-. The security deposit of candidates securing less than 1/6 of valid votes is forfeited.