In India, The Vice-President has the second-highest office in the country. Article 63 of the Indian Constitution mentions the post of Vice-President. There is no such direct election to elect the Vice-President.
The Vice-President of India is indirectly elected by an Electoral College. The election process of the Vice-President is quite similar to of the President, the only difference being the electoral college.
The Vice-President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting in such election is by secret ballot. The Electoral College, to elect a person to the office of the Vice-President consists of all members of both Houses of Parliament.
- Is a citizen of India
- Has completed the age of 35 years, and
- Is qualified for election as a member of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
However, he should not be a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha and if he is elected as Vice President when he has a seat in either of the house, he is deemed to have vacated that seat on his first day in the office. He also is not allowed to hold any office of profit under union government, state government, public authority and local authority.
- The election of the next Vice-President is to be held within 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President.
- The Returning Officer is usually appointed to conduct the Vice-Presidential elections is the Secretary-General of either House of the Parliament, by rotation. The Returning Officer issues a public notice of the intended election in a prescribed form, inviting nomination of candidates and specifies the place where the nomination papers are to be delivered. Any person qualified to be elected and intending to stand for election as Vice-President is required to be nominated by at least 20 MPs as proposers and at least 20 MPs as seconders. Nomination papers are to be presented to the Returning Officer at the place and up to the time and date, specified in the public notice. A maximum of 4 nomination papers by, or on behalf of, any candidate may be presented to, or accepted by, the Returning Officer.
- A candidate seeking election for the post of Vice-President is required to make a security deposit of Rs.15,000/-. This is the only amount that is required to be deposited by a candidate irrespective of the number of nomination papers filed on his behalf.
- Any candidate may withdraw his candidature by a notice in writing in a prescribed form delivered to the Returning Officer within the time specified.
- In the election an elector has as many preferences as there are candidates. In casting his vote, an elector is required to record on his ballot paper the figure 1 at the space opposite the name of the candidate whom he chooses as his first preference and may, in addition, record as many subsequent preferences as he/she wishes by recording on his ballot paper the figures 2,3,4, and so on, in the space opposite the names of other candidates. The votes should be recorded in the international form of Indian numerals or in the Roman form or in the form of any Indian language but should not be indicated in words.
- After the election has been held and the votes have been counted, the Returning Officer declares the result of the election. Thereafter, he reports the result to the Central Government (Ministry of Law & Justice) and the Election Commission of India and the Central Government publishes the name of the person elected as Vice-President, in the Official Gazette.
Disputes Regarding Election:
- All doubts and disputes arising in connection with the election of the Vice-President are enquired into and decided by the Supreme Court of India whose decision is final.
- A petition challenging the election of the Vice-President is heard by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India.
- The petition has necessarily to be accompanied by a security deposit of Rs. 20,000/-.Text of Oath of Affirmation by the Vice-President:
“I, ________ do swear in the name of God that I will bear true faith and allegiance to solemnly affirm the Constitution of India as by law established and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”
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