10TH SCHEDULE OF CONSTITUTION (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     17th January 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: The Maharashtra Assembly Speaker has refused to disqualify 40 MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction after recognising it as the real Shiv Sena.


10th Schedule of Constitution

  • About: The Tenth Schedule was instituted in response to political instability caused by legislators' defections during the 1960s and 70s, leading to the downfall of elected governments.
  • Objective: The 52nd constitutional amendment in 1985 introduced the Tenth Schedule, aiming to ensure stability in elected governments by implementing an 'anti-defection' law.
  • Provisions: The Tenth Schedule dictates that members who voluntarily abandon their political party or vote against party instructions in a House face disqualification. Party instructions are issued by the 'whip,' a member of the 'legislature party' appointed by the 'political party.'
  • Distinction Between Political and Legislature Party: The Tenth Schedule defines a 'political party' as the entire organization, including legislators, while 'legislature party' comprises only party members in a Parliament or State legislature.
  • Original Tenth Schedule: Originally, there were two exceptions to disqualification: one-third members splitting to form a separate group and the merger of a political party with another approved by two-thirds of its 'legislature party.' However, para 3 was omitted in 2003.



  • Disqualification: The Speaker of the House holds the authority to decide on disqualification. However, concerns about neutrality have arisen, with past instances showing a tendency to favor the ruling dispensation.
  • Constitutional Amendment: In the K. M. Singh versus Speaker of Manipur (2020) case, the Supreme Court recommended constitutional amendments to transfer the powers of disqualification decisions from the Speaker to an independent tribunal headed by judges.
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