The Vice-President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office:

 

Provided that —

 

(a) a Vice-President may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office;

 

(b) a 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;

 

(c) a Vice-President shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

Debate Summary

Article 56, Draft Constitution 1948

The Vice-President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office:

Provided that-

(a) A Vice-President may, by writing under his hand addressed to the

President, resign his office;

(b) A Vice-President may be removed from his office for incapacity or want of confidence 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;

(c) A Vice-President shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

 

The Draft Article 56 (Article 67, Constitution of India 1950) was discussed on 29th December 1948. It laid down the term of the Vice-President’s office.

 

There was a proposal to specify the emoluments including a salary of INR 4500 per month, residential and post-retirement benefits. The mover argued that if the President’s residential benefits were laid down in the Constitution, similar provisions must be made for the Vice-President. Further, the post-retirement benefits would ensure that candidates from economically underprivileged backgrounds were provided with equal opportunity to compete in the Vice-Presidential elections.

 

A member wanted to include grounds of disqualifications including violation of the Constitution, a conviction of a crime, mental incapacity and corruption. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee responded by highlighting that ‘want of confidence’ in clause b covers the grounds mentioned in the member’s amendment- there was no need to specifically mention it in the Constitution.

 

Another member sought clarity with respect to removal of the Vice-President. The Draft Article did not specify the required majority to remove the Vice-President. Further, the member was puzzled with the removal process of the Vice-President being more stringent than that of the President. Vice-President’s removal required the Resolution to be passed by both houses of the Parliament but that of President’s required only one. A member moved an amendment which would require 2/3rd majority from both the houses of the Parliament to remove the Vice-President. He stressed that since the Vice-President’s role is important, his removal must not be a casual affair. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee pointed out that the Vice-President’s primary role is that as the Chairman of the Council of States. Hence his removal process is similar to that of the Speaker of House of People – there was no need for a 2/3rd majority.

 

The Assembly adopted the Draft Article without any amendments.