What is anti defection law? Discuss the features of the law and other exceptions under it in detail.

The Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution is popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act. It was included in the Constitution in 1985 by the Rajiv Gandhi government. The law sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party.

  • Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2) deals with anti-defection
  • The grounds on which disqualification can be�incurred are as under:

Members belonging to political parties

  • If Member has voluntarily given up his membership�of political party
  • If he votes or abstains from voting in such�House contrary to any direction issued by the�political party to which he belongs without obtaining the�prior permission of such political party

�Member elected otherwise than as�candidate set up by any political party

  • An elected Member of a House who has been�elected as such otherwise than as a candidate set up�by any political party shall be disqualified for being a�member of the House if he joins any political party after�such election

Nominated Members

  • A nominated member of a House shall be�disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins�any political party after the expiry of six months from�the date on which he takes his seat

Cases of split

  • No member will be disqualified from the membership�of the House when he and any�other members of his legislature party constitute a�group representing a faction which has arisen as a�result of a split in his original political party
  • This provision has since been�omitted from the Tenth Schedule by the�Constitution. Consequently, it is not now permissible to claim a�split in the legislature party

Cases of merger

  • No member will be disqualified from the�membership of the House where his original political�party merges with another political party

The question as to whether a member of a�House of Parliament or State Legislature has become�subject to disqualification will be determined by the Chairman/Speaker of the House and his decision will�be final.


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