What is Anti-Defection Law? AIADMK MLAs’ Disqualification Verdict (Download PDF)

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Madras High Court upheld disqualification of 18 MLAs of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) loyal to sidelined leader TTV Dinakaran. If member of house belonging to political party.

Image of AIADMK MLAs Disqualification Verdict

Image of AIADMK MLAs Disqualification Verdict

Image of AIADMK MLAs Disqualification Verdict

Anti-Defection Law

  • Anti-Defection Law was passed by parliament in 1985 as 52nd amendment to Constitution, adding 10th Schedule.

  • 10th Schedule to Constitution, popularly referred to as ‘Anti-Defection Law’, lays down process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.

  • As per 10th Schedule, legislator would incur disqualification under paragraph 2 (1) (a) when he voluntarily gives up his membership of party. Under paragraph 2 (1) (b), legislator may face disqualification if he or she votes (or abstains from voting) contrary to directive issued by party.

  • 10th schedule was related to association of Sikkim w/India. Once, Sikkim became full-fledged state, this schedule was repealed via 36th amendment act.

Definition of Defection

Defection is defined as “to abandon position or association, often to join opposing group” which essentially describes situation when member of particular party abandons his loyalty towards that party & provide his support (in form of his vote or otherwise) to another party.

Conditions of Disqualification

  • If member of house belonging to political party

  • Voluntarily gives up membership of his political party

  • Votes, or does not vote in legislature, contrary to directions of his political party.

  • If member has taken prior permission, or is condoned by party w/I 15 days from such voting or abstention, member shall not be disqualified.

  • If independent candidate joins political party after election.

  • If nominated member joins party 6 months after he becomes member of legislature.

Power to Disqualify

  • Chairman or Speaker of House takes decision to disqualify member.

  • If complaint is received w/respect to defection of Chairman or Speaker, member of House elected by that House shall take decision.

Key Reforms Needed in Anti-defection Law:

  • Decision making power of speaker/chairman needs review

  • Phrase “voluntarily giving up membership” is too vague & needs comprehensive revision.

  • Political parties should limit issuance of whips to instances only when govt. is in danger

By-Elections in Tamil Nadu

  • By-elections will be held in state for 18 seats represented by these disqualified MLAs.

  • Presently, Palaniswami govt. stays above halfway mark of 116.

  • In 234-member state Assembly, besides these 18 seats, 2 seats are vacant presently, including one that of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

Current strength of Tamil Nadu Assembly is 216. AIADMK has 116 MLAs, including Speaker, & Opposition has 98 MLAs

- Published/Last Modified on: January 18, 2019

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