How is Vice-president of India elected and how can he be removed from his office? Describe briefly his functions and importance.
Enumerate the qualifications for election, functions and the position of the Vice-President of India.
Ans. Election, functions and the position of the Vice-President of India.—Article 63 provides that there shall be a Vice-President of India who shall act as President of India in the event of occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the President by reason of his death, resignation or removal or otherwise till a new President is duly elected [Article 65 (1)]. The Vice-President shall also act as President if and when- the President due to absence, illness or any other cause is unable to discharge his functions till the President resumes his duties [Article 65 (2)1. The Vice-President is ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States (Article 64), i.e., Rajya Sabha. The Vice-President 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 the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot. [Article 66 (1)]. The Vice-President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of a State, 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, [Article 66 (2)] No person shall be eligible for elections 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 (3)]. A person shall not be eligible for election of a 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. [Article 66 (4)]. 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 either for the Union or for any State. (Article 66, Explanation) 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. An election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiry of the term of office of Vice-President shall be completed before the expiry of the term [Article 68 (I)]. 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 to the full term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office. [Article 68 (2)]. 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 Chapter I of Part V, [Article 70]