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Sunday, 28 October 2018

When the offices of both the President and Vice President of India are vacant, who will discharge their functions?

  By GK Planet Team       Sunday, 28 October 2018
Q. When the offices of both the President and Vice President of India are vacant, who will discharge their functions?
  1. Chief Justice of India
  2. Prime Minister
  3. Chief Minister
  4. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Answer: Chief Justice of India

The Office of the president falls vacant in the following scenarios:
  1. On the expiry of their term.
  2. By reason of death.
  3. By reason of resignation.
  4. Removal by supreme court.
  5. Removal by impeachment.
Article 65 of the Indian constitution says that the Vice-President of India will have to discharge the duties, if the office falls vacant due to any reason other than the expiry of the term. The vice-president reverts to their office when a new President is elected and enters office. When the president is unable to act because of absence, illness or any other cause, the vice-president discharges the President's functions until the president resumes the duties.

A vice-president who acts as or discharges the functions of the president has all the powers and immunities of the president and is entitled to the same emoluments as the president. When a vice-president discharges the duties of the president, he/she does not function as the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

The Indian parliament has enacted the law—The President (Discharge of Functions) Act, 1969 —for the discharge of the functions of the president when vacancies occur in the offices of the president and of the vice-president simultaneously, owing to removal, death, resignation of the incumbent or otherwise. In such an eventuality, the chief justice—or in his absence, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India available—discharges the functions of the president until a newly elected President enters upon his office or a newly elected Vice-president begins to act as President under Article 65 of the constitution, whichever is the earlier. For example, in 1969, when President Zakir Husain died in Office, Vice-President V. V. Giri served as the acting President of India. However, later, V.V Giri resigned from both posts (Acting President of India and Vice-President of India) as he became a candidate in the 1969 Presidential election in India. In this event, the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah served as the acting President of India until the next President was elected.
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