The qualifications, election, functions and the position of Vice-President of India

Article 66(1) provides that Vice-President of India shall be elected by the members of both Houses of Parliament assembled at a joint meeting in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.

Article 66(2) provides the Vice-President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of 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.

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According to Article 66(3), no person shall be eligible for election as Vice-President unless he:

(a) Is a citizen of India;

(b) Has completed the age of thirty five years; and

(c) Is qualified for election as a member of the Council of States.

Article 66(4) lays down that a person shall not be eligible for election as Vice-President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.

Explanation of Article 66

For the purposes of this Article, a person shall not be deemed to hold any office of profit by reason only that he is the President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any State or is a Minister for the Union or for any State.

According to Article 67 of the Constitution, the Vice-President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

The Vice-President may by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.

The Vice-President may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council of States passed by a majority of all the then members of the council and agreed to by the House of the People; but no resolution for the purpose of this clause shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

The Vice-President shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

According to Article 68(1), an election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of Vice-President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.

Article 68(2) lays down that an election to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice-President occurring by reason of his death, resignation or removal or otherwise shall be held as soon as possible after the occurrence of the vacancy, and the person elected to fill the vacancy shall, subject to the provisions of Article 67, be entitled to hold office for the full term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

According to Article 69, every Vice-President shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed by him in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation in the following form:

I…. do swear in the name of God or affirm solemnly, will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and that I will faithfully discharge the functions of the Vice-President in any contingency not provided for in this Chapter.

Article 70 provides that Parliament may make such provisions as it thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of the President in any contingency not provided for in this chapter.

Article 64 provides that Vice-President shall be ex officio chairman of Rajya Sabha. Article 65(1) lays down that in the event of the occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the President by reason of his death, resignation or removal or otherwise, the Vice-President shall act as President until the date on which the new President elected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter to fill such vacancy enters upon his office.

Article 65(2) provides that when the President is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness, or any other cause, the Vice-President shall discharge his functions until the date on which the President resumes his duties.

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