ANTI DEFECTION LAW (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     18th October 2023        

Context: Recently, the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker was given a final opportunity by the Supreme Court to frame a realistic time schedule to hear and decide the anti-defection proceedings against the Chief Minister and other MLAs.

Anti Defection Law

  • Meaning: Defection refers to the act of switching political allegiance, typically when a member of a political party leaves their current party to join another political party or becomes an independent legislator.
  • Enactment of Anti-defection Law in India: The Anti-defection Law in India was enacted in 1985 as part of the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985, which was incorporated into the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • Aim: To prevent and discourage defection among politicians. 

oThey achieve this by imposing penalties on elected representatives who switch parties or otherwise violate party discipline.

  • Accountability to Voters and Party Cohesion: These laws are often designed to ensure that politicians remain accountable to the voters who elected them.

o They also contribute to the maintenance of stability and cohesion within political parties.

Important Provisions

  • Disqualification: A member of a House belonging to any political party becomes disqualified for being a member of the House.
  • Nominated Members: After six months from taking their seat in the House, a nominated member becomes ineligible to remain a member of the House if they decide to join any political party.