15th Vice-Presidential Election in India

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The term of office of Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India, is up to 10th August 2017. An election to fill the vacancy to be caused by the expiration of the term of office of the outgoing Vice-President needs to be completed before the expiration of the term of the present incunbent.

The law provides that the notification for election may be issued on, or as soon as conveniently may be after, the sixtieth day before the expiry of term of the office of the outgoing Vice-President.

Article 324 of the Constitution read with the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, vests the superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of election to the office of the Vice-President of India in the Election Commission of India.

The Election Commission is mandated to ensure that the election to the office of the Vice-President of India must be a free and fair election. The Commission is taking all necessary steps for discharging the responsibility.

The Vice-President is elected by the members of the Electoral College consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

The nominated Members of Rajya Sabha as well as of Lok Sabha are also eligible to be included in the Electoral College and, therefore, are entitled to participate in the election.

The Electoral College for the present election of the Vice-President consists of the following members:
Rajya Sabha:

Elected = 233
Nominated = 12

a) Lok Sabha:

Elected = 543
Nominated = 2

TOTAL = 790

The Election Commission, in consultation with the Central Government, has decided to appoint the Secretary General to the Rajya Sabha as the Returning Officer for the election.

The Commission has also decided to appoint Assistant Returning Officers from amongst the officers of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to assist the Returning Officer.

In pursuance of sub-section (1) of section (4) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, the Election Commission of India has fixed the programme for the election to fill the office of the Vice-President of India.

The nomination paper of a candidate must be delivered to the Returning Officer at New Delhi at the place to be specified by him by a public notice either by the candidate or by any of his proposers or seconders between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.

A nomination paper of a candidate has to be subscribed by at least twenty electors as proposers and at least another twenty electors as seconders. An elector can subscribe to only one nomination paper of a candidate as either a proposer or seconder. The security deposit for the election is Rs. 15,000/- (Rupees fifteen thousand only), which is required to be made along with the nomination paper.

The list of Members of the Electoral College maintained by the Commission for the Vice-Presidential Election, 2017 will be made available in English & Hindi separately, after publication, for sale @ Rs.50/ per copy from the counter opened in the premises of the Election Commission.

By a notification published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary on 4th of July, 2017, the Election Commission has fixed the following schedule for the Vice-Presidential Elections, 2017:-

(a) July 18, 2017, as the last date for making nominations;
(b) July 19, 2017, as the date for the security of nominations;
(c) July 21, 2017, as the last date for the withdrawal of candidates; and
(d) August 5, 2017, as the date on which a poll shall, if necessary, be taken.

The Commission vide separate Notification issued on the 1st of July, 2017 has appointed Shri Shumsher K. Sheriff, Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, as the Returning Officer for the Vice-Presidential Election, 2017 and Shri Mukul Pande, Additional Secretary and Shri Rohtas, Joint Secretary, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, as the Assistant Returning Officers.

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