ANTI-DEFECTION LAW

As in the current, we hear about the jignesh mevani joined the congress party but he said that he would join the congress party in a spirit and not in formal way because it was against the anti defection law. So this term he would complete as an independent member but he also announced that he would fight the next poll in congress ticket.

So due to this incident anti defection law is in spot light in the current. So now in this article I will discuss about the anti defection law. The tenth schedule of the constitution popularly known as the anti defection law, specifies the circumstances under which changing of political parties by legislatures invites action under the law. It includes situation in which an independent MLA, too, joins a party after the election.

The defections by the MLA’s was started when the formation of non congress government was took place in 1967. So the term floor crossing became so prevalent in 1967 because one MLA join one different political party and the other joined some other party. Due to which political party becomes weak with time. And this time is also known as the aya ram gya ram politics. This phrase became popular in the political vocabulary in india to describe the practice of frequent floor crossing by legislators. This expression originated in an amazing feat of floor crossing achieved by gaya lal, an MLA in Haryana, in 1967. He changed his party thrice in a fort night, from congress to united front, back to congress and then within nine hours to united front again.

So to stop these defections, P venkatasubbaiah, a congress MP in lok sabha who served in the cabinet as of both indira and rajiv Gandhi, proposed the setting up of a high level committee to make recommendations to tackle the problem of legislators changing their allegiance from one party to another. So anti defection law is added in 10th schedule to save the congress.

Grounds for disqualifications

  1. If any elected member gives up his membership of a political party voluntarily.
  2. If he votes or abstains from voting in the house, contrary to any direction issued by his political party.
  3. If any member who is independently elected joins any party.
  4. If any nominated member joins any political party after the end of 6 months.
  5. The decision on disqualification questions on the ground of defection is referred to the speaker or the chairman of the house, and his/her decision is final. So speaker has the discretionary power to disqualify any MLA or MP.

Exceptions

Certain exceptions are also there which are not considered as defection. First is that the 10th schedule says that if there is merger between two political parties. Then the transfer of member of one party to another party will not said and treated as defection. And the other exception is that if the two-thirds of the members of a legislature party agree to the merger, they will not be disqualified.(91st amendment)

judicial decisions

If we talk about the judicial decisions regarding this anti defection law, court gave many interpretations for this law in a case kihoto holohan v. state of Andhra Pradesh 1993, the court held that the speaker must be impartial while taking any decision regarding disqualification of MLA. So the speaker must function as judicial tribunal. And the other is that in the 10th schedule, it was written that the decision of speaker cannot be reviewed by the courts. But in this case, supreme court held that the decision of speaker can also be reviewed on the grounds of mala fide and perversity etc. court also held that the law should be amended and the power to disqualify should be in hands of president/governor.

In ravi kumar v. union of india, the supreme court held that once it is demonstrated that a member is willing to resign out of his free will. The speaker has no option but to accept the resignation. Conduct of member has to be seen.

References

https://www.livelaw.in/know-the-law/anti-defection-law-explained-183952

https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/anti-defection-law-6

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-defection_law_(India)

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