(1) An election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.

 

(2) An election to fill a vacancy in the office of President occurring by reason of his death, resignation or removal, or otherwise shall be held as soon as possible after, and in no case later than six months from, the date of occurrence of the vacancy; and the person elected to fill the vacancy shall, subject to the provisions of article 56, be entitled to hold office for the full term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

Debate Summary

Article 51, Draft Constitution of India 1948

(1) An election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.

(2) An election to fill a vacancy in the office of President occurring by reason of his death, resignation or removal, or otherwise shall be held as soon as possible after, and in no case later than six months from, the date of occurrence of the vacancy; and the person elected to fill the vacancy shall be entitled to hold office for the full term of five years as provided in article 45 of this Constitution.

Draft Article 51 ( Article 62, Constitution of India 1950) was debated in Constituent Assembly on 28 December 1948. It lays down the procedure and conditions through which a vacancy in the office of President is filled.

There were only two objections to the Article. The first was related to the second part of Clause 2 that set out the newly elected President’s term: a newly elected President would serve a term of 5 years irrespective of how long the old president served in office. This would lead to the parliament’s and the President’s terms to not run in parallel. This bothered a member who felt that the two terms must run in parallel to avoid the President influencing elections to the Parliament.

Another member said that the Draft Article made inadequate arrangements for the interim period that lay between the removal/death/resignation of a President and the installation of a new President.

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded to these concerns. He first argued that there was no reason why a newly elected President must serve a term less than five years. Second, he said that the interim period between the old and the new President was taken care of by Draft Article 54.

The Draft Article was adopted without amendment.