Highlight the importance of Kihoto Hollohan judgement in the light of issue of political defections in India.

“As politics become career, politicians become commodities for trade”. The menace of political defection is not new to India. The instance of Gaya Ram Aaya Ram, changing loyalties thrice in 2 weeks as early as 1960’s testifies the same.

Unfortunately, the extent and frequency has intensified in recent years.

  • Political parties sole motive is to retain or gain power – lead to high corruption, trading in politicians.
  • 10th schedule as anti-defection has proved inadequate. Members resign from post leading to fall of government and get re-elected in next elections.
  • Increasing role of money & muscle power coupled with criminalisation provides favourable climate.
  • Public perception for intensity/ ethics further adds to it.
  • Role of speaker/ governor has served as added incentive.

In wake of it, Kihoto Hollohan judgement assumes great significance. The court held that:

  • Decision of leader of house as defection is not beyond judicial scrutiny.
  • Court may scrutinize the decision on grounds of malafide, extraneous reasons.

Courts can play curative role. The need of the hour is to reform anti-defection law in India and implementing Supreme Court decision of replacing speaker with permanent adjudicating mechanism in deciding defection.


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