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22nd June 2022 (6 Topics)

Anti-defection Law

Context

The recent argument lashed in Maharashtra, The minister Eknath Shinde leader of the revolt against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is trying to defect from the party.

  • Reports said that the rebel group includes 33 MLAs of the 55-member Shiv Sena legislature party, and seven Independents supporting the state government.

About

  • The Anti-defection law of the Indian Constitution is designed to prevent political defections prompted by the lure of office or material benefits or other like considerations.
  • The Anti-defection law was passed by Parliament in 1985 and reinforced in 2002.
  • The anti-defection law was enacted to ensure that a party member does not violate the mandate of the party and in case he does so, he will lose his membership of the House.
  • The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
  • The Anti-Defection Law aims to prevent MPs from switching political parties for any personal motive.

Constitutional Provisions related to Anti-defection

  • The 52nd amendment (1985) to the Constitution added the Tenth Schedule which laid down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.
  • Grounds of defection:
    • A state or central legislature was deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily resigned from his party or disobeyed the directives of the party.
    • Independent members would be disqualified if they joined a political party.
    • Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party prior to six months of the date of nomination.
  • Exception:
    • Any person elected as speaker or chairman could resign from his party, and rejoin the party if he demitted that post.
    • A party could be merged into another if at least two-thirds of its party legislators voted for the merger (Initially it was one third 91stamendment act made it two third).
    • The law initially permitted splitting of parties, but that has now been outlaw
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