(1) 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 a new President elected in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter to fill such vacancy enters upon his office.

 

(2) 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.

 

(3) The Vice-President shall, during, and in respect of, the period while he is so acting as, or discharging the functions of, President, have all the powers and immunities of the President and be entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.

Debate Summary

Article 54, Draft Constitution 1948

(1) 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 a new President elected in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter to fill such vacancy enters upon his office.

(2) 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.

(3) The Vice-President shall, during, and in respect of, the period while he is so acting as, or discharging the functions of the, President, have all the powers and immunities of the President.

 

The Draft Article was debated on 28 December 1948. In case of vacancy of the President’s office, this article gave the Vice-President the President’s powers and obligations until the vacancy was filled.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee moved an amendment to ensure that the Vice-President upon assuming the President’s office was entitled to 'privileges, emoluments, and allowances' as decided by the Parliament. A member argued that the benefits that a Vice-President assuming President’s office enjoyed must be the same as that of the President’s. There was no need to discriminate the temporary President. There was a proposal to include 'duties and liabilities' to the Chairman’s amendment. It was argued that, while the amendment took care of the temporary President’s benefits, it did not include ‘duties and liabilities’ of the President. This would make it hard to impeach the temporary President if he/she violated the Constitution.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded to these concerns. First, he noted that the Parliament should be given the prerogative to fix deferential benefits as this was a temporary position for a short time. He clarified that if there was no separate provision covering the temporary President’s benefits, he/she would be entitled to the President’s benefits. Second, he asserted that the temporary President would have the same obligations as that of the President. The impeachment provisions of the President would apply to the temporary President as well. It was unnecessary and superfluous to spell it in the Constitution.

 

The Assembly adopted the Draft Article with the Drafting Committee’s amendment.