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Election of the Vice President

Last Updated : 05 Aug, 2022
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The Vice President is the deputy to the head of state of the Republic of India, the President of India. In terms of seniority and line of succession to the presidency, he or she holds the second-highest constitutional post after the President. 

Article 63 of the Constitution of India mentions the post of Vice President. He shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), as mentioned in Article 64. The current Vice President of India and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu. 

Term of the Office of the Vice President:

The Vice President’s tenure in office shall not exceed five years from the date on which he enters his office, as per Article 67 of the Constitution of India. He may, however, leave earlier than five years by submitting his resignation to the President. The Vice President is eligible to be re-elected any number of times.

If the President’s office is vacant and the Vice President assumes the role of President ( as per Article 65), the Vice President may continue to serve as a President for a maximum of six months before a new President is chosen. While in the case of succession to the office of Vice President in the event of an extraordinary vacancy, the Constitution does not provide any mechanism. However, in such a scenario, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha might assume the Vice president’s role as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Eligibility of the Vice President:

As mentioned in Article 66(3) and Article 66(4), to be qualified to be elected as the Vice President, an individual must-

  • Be an Indian Citizen
  • Have completed the age of thirty-five years
  • Be qualified to be elected as a Rajya Sabha member
  • Not hold any office of profit

Election of the Vice President:

The Election Process for the Vice President is laid down in Article 66 of the Indian Constitution. There is no direct election for the Vice President of India, rather he or she is elected indirectly by an Electoral College consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament (both elected and nominated members) and not the members of the State Legislative Assembly.

The election is held as per the system of proportional representation using a single transferable vote as mentioned in Article 66(1) and the Election Commission of India conducts the voting via secret ballot. Accordingly, the electors are expected to carefully maintain the secrecy of the vote.

The important provisions for the Vice Presidential Elections are-

  1. On the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing Vice President, the next Election for the next Vice President is to be held within 60 days.
  2. The Secretary-General of either House of the Parliament, in turn, is designated as the Returning Officer for the Vice- Presidential Election.
  3. Any candidate qualified to be as the Vice President must have the support of at least 20 MPs (Member of Parliaments) as proposers and at least 20 MPs as seconders.
  4. The Returning Officer examines the nomination papers on the designated day in the presence of the candidate, his proposer or seconder, and any other person lawfully authorized. Any candidate may present or have accepted by the Returning Officer a maximum of four nomination papers.
  5. Any candidate can revoke his or her candidacy by delivering a written notification in the required format to the returning officer within the allotted period.
  6. Each voter in an Election has a different set of preferences for each candidate. At each count, each piece of ballot paper corresponds to one vote.
  7. After the Election has taken place and votes have been counted, the Returning Officer announces the result of the Election.

Who Decides in Disputes Regarding the Election of the Vice President?

The Supreme Court of India investigates and renders a final judgment on all doubts and disputes relating to the election of the Vice President as per Article 71(1) of the Indian Constitution. A five-member Supreme Court bench hears the petition and decides on the matter. The Supreme Court will not be questioned on that decision with any authority. And any dispute regarding the election of the Vice President can only be filed after the electoral process has been completed, not during it.


The Vice President’s position with specific functions has not been specified in the Constitution of India, 1950; instead, it has made it clear that the Vice President has to behave as a tail to the President of India. However, this unfamous position is important for preserving the democratic nation’s political continuity. As a result, the job of Vice President of India is infamously famous.

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