The Vice-President

Part V Article (63-73)

Article 63 of the Indian Constitution says that there should be a Vice-President of India.

The Vice-President shall be the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha (Article 64)

The Vice-President can be removed from ofice by a resolution of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), passed by a majority of its members at that time and agreed to by the House of the People (Lok Sabha). (Article 67)

Vice President is entitled to a salary of Rs. 1,25,000 per month

Dr. S Radhakrishnan (13-May-52 to 12-May-62) was the first Vice-President of India and Dr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari from 11-Aug-2007 is the incumbent Vice President of India.

Council of Ministers

Art 74 (1): It provides that, “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President who shall in exercise of his/her functions act in accordance with such advice.

Article 75 stipulates that the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President. Other ministers shall be ap-pointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister (Article 75 (i)).

The Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the President, but they cannot be removed so long as they have the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha, in fact, according to the Constitution, Ministers are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.

If the Lok Sabha passes a ‘no-confidence motion’, the entire Council of Ministers including PM has to resign. A no-confidence motion is a legislative motion brought by the members of the Lok Sabha, expressing lack of trust in the Council of Ministers. That is why,it is said that the Ministers swim and sink together.

Regarding the functions of the Council of Ministers, these are the same as those of the Prime Minister.The proceedings of the Cabinet or Council of Ministers are kept secret. The Council of Ministers is a large body of Ministers. We have seen during recent years, the top category,known as the Ministers of Cabinet rank are about 20 to 25 and they hold the charge of important ministries.

Then there is a group of ministers, called Ministers of State, some of them hold independent charges of ministries while others are attached to Cabinet Ministers. Deputy Ministers are attached to Cabinet Ministers or Ministers of State. The Cabinet meeting is attended only by the Ministers of Cabinet rank, but if need be the Ministers of State also may be invited to at-tend such meetings.

Ministers may be taken from members of either House and minister who is member of one House has the right to speak and take part in the proceedings of the other House but cannot vote in the House of which he is not member (Art.88).

A person who is not a member of either House can also become a minister for more than 6 months unless he se-cures a seat in either House of Parliament (by election or nomination) in the mean time (Art 75 (5).

The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to Parliament. (Art. 75 (3)

Art 75 (2) envisages principle of individual responsibility which says that a minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.