ANTI-DEFECTION LAW

The Anti-Defection Law under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution rebuffs MPs/ MLAs for deserting from their party by removing their membership of the legislature. It gives the Speaker of the legislature the ability to determine the end result of defection procedures. It was added to the Constitution through the Fifty-Second (Amendment) Act, 1985 when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The law applies to both Parliament as well as state assemblies. It was a reaction to the bringing down of different state governments by party-hopping MLAs after the general elections of 1967.

The anti-defection law indicates the conditions under which changing of political parties by legislators invites action under the law. It includes circumstances in which an independent MLA, joins a party after the election. Independents offer voters better chances to communicate their inclinations. This can improve political representation, as independents are liberated from the dictates of a party line, and have the flexibility to represent local preferences such that party-affiliated members often do not.

The law covers three situations as for shifting of political parties by an MP or an MLA.

Voluntary giving-up

The first is the point at which a member chosen on the ticket of a political party “voluntarily gives up” membership of such a party or votes in the House against the wishes of the party. Such people lose their seat.

Independent members

At the point when a legislator who has won the seat as an independent candidate joins a political party after the election. In both these cases, the legislator loses the seat in the legislature on changing or joining a party.

Nominated MPs

In this case, the law allows them six months to join a political party, after being nominated. If they join a party after such time, they lose their seat in the House.

In 1969, a committee led by Home Minister Y B Chavan inspected the issue of defection. It was that after the 1967 general elections, defections changed the political scene in India: 176 of 376 independent legislators later joined a political party.

However, the committee didn’t suggest any action against independent legislators. A member contradicted with the committee on the issue of independents and needed them disqualified in the event that they joined a political party. In the absence of a proposal on this issue by the Chavan committee, the initial efforts to create the anti-defection law (1969, 1973) didn’t cover independent legislators joining political parties.

The following legislative attempt, in 1978, permitted independent and nominated legislators to join a political party once. But when the Constitution was amended in 1985, independent legislators were kept from joining a political party and nominated legislators were given a half year’s time.

Powers to disqualify

Under the anti-defection law, the ability to conclude the disqualification of an MP or MLA rests with the presiding officer of the legislature. The law does not determine a time period wherein such a decision has to be made. Subsequently, Speakers of legislatures have at times acted very rapidly or have delayed the decision for a quite long time and have been accused of political bias in both situations.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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