20 July, 2020
5 Min Read
GS-Paper-2 Governance (PT-MAINS)
The Tenth Schedule, technicalities and also the Anti-Defection Law would be cited during the crisis. Ultimately the matter could also end up in the Supreme Court.
What is the anti-defection law?
The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act.
The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
If a member of a house belonging to a political party:
Exceptions under the law:
Legislators may change their party without the risk of disqualification in certain circumstances.
The decision of the Presiding Officer is subject to judicial review:
The law initially stated that the decision of the Presiding Officer is not subject to judicial review. This condition was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1992, thereby allowing appeals against the Presiding Officer’s decision in the High Court and Supreme Court. However, it held that there may not be any judicial intervention until the Presiding Officer gives his order.
Advantages of anti-defection law:
Various Recommendations to overcome the challenges posed by the law:
A member voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party
A member abstains from voting or votes contrary to the party whip in a motion of vote of confidence or motion of no-confidence. Political parties could issue whips only when the government was in danger.
Provisions which exempt splits and mergers from disqualification to be deleted.
Pre-poll electoral fronts should be treated as political parties under anti-defection
Political parties should limit the issuance of whips to instances only when the government is in danger.
Decisions under the Tenth Schedule should be made by the President/ Governor on the binding advice of the Election Commission.
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