The Vice-President occupies the second-highest office in the country. He is accorded a rank next to the President in the official warrant of precedence. This office is modelled on the lines of the American Vice-President.
The Vice-President, like the president, is elected not directly by the people but by the method of indirect election. He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament. Thus, this electoral college is different from the President. But, when we come to the Vice-President, his normal functions are to preside over the council of states.
To be eligible for election as Vice-President, a person should fulfill the following qualifications:
(i) He should be a citizen of India.
(ii) He should have completed 35 years of age.
(iii) He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
(iv) He should not hold any office of profit.
Term of office - 5 years
A formal impeachment is not required for his removal. He can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an absolute majority (ie, a majority of the total members of the House) and agreed to by the Lok Sabha. But no such resolution can be moved unless at least 14 days advance notice has been given.
All doubts and disputes in connection with election of the Vice-President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
(i) He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. In this capacity, his powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of Lok Sabha. In this respect, he resembles the American vice-president who also acts as the Chairman of the Senate the Upper House of the American legislature.
(ii) He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death, or otherwise. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected.