Published on: July 7, 2021



What is in news : The Supreme Court said that it is for the legislature to frame law for timely disposal of disqualification petitions by the Speaker or Chairman of the House under the tenth schedule of the Constitution.

Anti-Defection Law

  • ‘Defection’ has been defined as “To abandon a position or association, often to join an opposing group”.
  • Present in the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution
  • Designed to prevent political defections prompted by the lure of office or material benefits or other like considerations
  • Passed by Parliament in 1985 ( 52nd Amendment) and reinforced in 2002.
  • Applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.

Grounds for disqualification:

  • If an elected member gives up his membership of a political party voluntarily.
  • If he votes or abstains from voting in the House, contrary to any direction issued by his political party.
  • If any member who is independently elected joins any party.
  • If any nominated member joins any political party after the end of 6 months.
  • 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.
  • All proceedings in relation to disqualification under this Schedule are considered to be proceedings in Parliament or the Legislature of a state as is the case.

Exceptions under the Anti Defection Law

  • In the situation where two-thirds of the legislators of a political party decide to merge into another party, neither the members who decide to join nor the ones who stay with the original party will face disqualification.
  • Any person elected as chairman or speaker can resign from his party, and re-join the party if he demits that post.
  • Earlier, the law allowed parties to be split, but at present, this has been outlawed.

Deciding Authority: Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the House.