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Anti-defection law

In 1967 an MLA of Haryana Gaya Lal changed his party three times in a same day and a slogan “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” was famous. After this need of anti-defection law was felt and in 1985 tenth schedule was inserted in Indian Constitution by the 52nd Amendment. It is popularly known as Anti - Defection Law. It came into force on 1st March 1985.

The main aim of this schedule was to prevent the political defections and to strengthen democracy by bringing stability in politics and make members of parliament more responsible and loyal to their parties. Political defection means a member of a political party changes his party voluntarily or on other grounds. It also provides procedure by which a legislator may be disqualified on the ground of defection by the presiding officer of the legislature. This Schedule is applicable on both Central and State legislature.

Tenth schedule is divided into 8 paragraphs. The brief summary of this Schedule is as follows:
PARAGRAPH 1:- This paragraph contains the interpretation section. It defines the different terms that are used in the legislation like house, legislature party, original political party etc.

Paragraph 2: Disqualification On Grounds Of Defection

A member of any state or central legislature can be disqualified from being a member if:
  1. He voluntarily gives up his membership of such political party.
  2. He disobeys the directions of his political party or votes or does not vote in the legislature.
  3. After the election, he joins other political party.
  4. If nominated member joins any political party after 6 months from the day he became member of the legislature.

Paragraph 3: This section was omitted after the 91st Amendment in 2003

Paragraph 4: Disqualification On Ground Of Defection Not Applied In Case Of Merger

Disqualification of member is not applied in case of merger. Provided that this merger with or into another party shall be done with the consent of at least two-third of its legislators. In such case nor the member who decide to merge or member who stay in original party can be disqualified on the ground of defection.

Paragraph 5: Exemption

This section provides exemption to the speaker, chairman and deputy chairman of various legislative houses from the disqualification on the ground of defection.

Paragraph 6: Decision On Question As To Disqualification On Ground Of Defection

In case of any question arises related to the disqualification of member then it referred to the chairman or the speaker of the legislative house for and his decision shall be final and binding.

Paragraph 7: Bar Of Jurisdiction Of Courts

The section of this Schedule bars the jurisdiction of any courts in the case of disqualification of a member. But this provision is not applied or intervene the court under Article 32, 137 and 226 of the Indian Constitution.

Paragraph 8:- Rules

This paragraph of Schedule empowers the Chairman and the Speaker to frame the rules related to the disqualification of members of their various houses of the legislature.

Advantages Of Anti-Defection Law

Following are the advantages of anti – defection law:
  1. It provides stability to the government by restricting the shift of party relations.
  2. It ensures that candidate shall be loyal to his party and citizens also gave vote to him’
  3. It also promotes party discipline.
  4. It allows the merger of political parties without disqualifying a member on the ground of defection.
  5. It also helps in reducing corruption at the political level by restricting the change of party.
  6. It provides procedure for those who defects from one party to another.

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