Introduction: 2

Election: 2

Qualifications: 2

Oath or affirmation: 2

Term of office: 2

Vacancy in Office: 3

Election disputes: 3

Powers and functions: 3

Articles Related to Vice-President at a Glance. 4





The Vice-President occupies the second highest office in the country. He is accorded a rank next to the President in the official warrant of precedence.


He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of 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 respects:

ō  It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament.

ō  It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies.

The Vice-Presidentís election, like that of the Presidentís election, is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.


To be eligible for election as Vice-President, a person should fulfil the following qualifications:

         He should be a citizen of India.

         He should have completed 35 years of age.

         He should be qualified for election 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.


Oath or affirmation:

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


Term of office:

The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his 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 completion of his term. A formal impeachment is not required for his removal. He can be removed by a resolution of the RajyaSabha passed by an absolute majority. On the vacancy of the post of the Vice-President, whether by death, resignation or otherwise, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha takes charge until a Vice-President is elected and takes charge.


Vacancy in Office:

A vacancy in the Vice-Presidentís office can occur in any of the following ways:

1.   On the expiry of his tenure of five years.

2.   By his resignation.

3.   On his removal.

4.   By his death.

5.   Otherwise, for example, when he becomes disqualified to hold office or when his election is declared void.

Election disputes:

All doubts and disputes in connection with election of the Vice-President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.

Powers and functions:

The functions of Vice-President are twofold:

1.     He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. In this capacity, his powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of LokSabha.

2.     He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months, within which a new President has to be elected. Further, when the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office. 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.

If the offices of both the President and the Vice-President fall vacant by reason of death, resignation, removal etc the Chief Justice of India or in his absence the senior most judge of the Supreme Court acts as President. For the first time, during the 15-day visit of Dr. Rajendra Prasad to the Soviet Union in June 1960, the then Vice President Dr. Radhakrishnan acted as the President. For the first time, in 1969, when the President Dr. Zakir Hussain died and the Vice-President V.V. Giri resigned, the chief Justice Md. Hidayatullah. acted as president.


Articles Related to Vice-President at a Glance


Article No.



The Vice-President of India


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


The Vice-President to act as President or to discharge his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence, of President


Election of Vice-President


Term of office of Vice-President


Time of holding election to fill vacancy in the office of Vice-President and the term of office of person elected to fill casual vacancy


Oath or affirmation by the Vice-President


Discharge of Presidentís functions in other contingencies


Matters relating to, or connected with, the election of Vice-President