The Vice President of India And The Constitution

1. The Office of the Vice-President Article 63.

The Vice-President of India is the second highest constitutional office in the country. He serves for a five-year term, but can continue to be in office, irrespective of the expiry of the term, until the successor assumes office.

The Constitution is silent on 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, or when the Vice-President acts as the President of India. The only provision in the Constitution is with regard to the Vice-President's function as the Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), which is performed, during the period of such vacancy, by the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, or any other member of the Rajya Sabha authorised by the President of India.

The Vice-President may resign his office by submitting his resignation to the President of India. The resignation becomes effective from the day it is accepted.

The Vice-President can be removed from office by a resolution of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), passed by a majority of its members at that time and agreed to by the House of the People (Lok Sabha). A resolution for this purpose may be moved only after a notice of at least a minimum of 14 days has been given of such an intention.

2. The Vice-President as Chairperson* (ex-officio) of the Rajya Sabha Article 64.

The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha ) and does not hold any other office of profit. During any period when the Vice-President acts as, or discharges the functions of the President, he does not perform the duties of the office of the Chairperson of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and, is not entitled to any salary or allowances payable to the Chairperson, Rajya Sabha.

3. The Vice-President as Acting President Article 65.

The Vice-President acts as President, during casual vacancy in the office of the President by reason of death, resignation or removal or otherwise, until a new President is elected as soon as practicable and, in no case, later than six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy. When the President is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges those functions till the President resumes office. During this period, the Vice-President has all the powers, immunities and privileges of the President and receives emoluments and allowances payable to the President.

*In these texts, the expression 'Chairperson' has been used so as to be proper, genderwise. The statutory provisions however, contain the expression 'Chairman'.