This law sets the provisions for disqualification of an elected member on the grounds of defection to another political party.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the decision on anti-party activity is not taken by the Speaker of the Assembly but by the leader of the connected political party, giving unbridled authority to the leader of the party.
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Here is everything you need to know about Anti-defection law.
What is the Anti-Defection Law?
• The Tenth Schedule - popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act - was included in the Constitution in 1985 by the Rajiv Gandhi ministry. It was added via the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985, soon after the Rajiv government came to power after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Grounds for disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law's Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2):
• If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party;
• If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorised to do so, without obtaining prior permission.
However, under the following circumstances, a split in a party not considered a 'defection':
• If an entire political party merges with another
• If a new political party is formed by some of the elected members of one party
• if he or she or other members of the party have not accepted the merger between the two parties and opted to function as a separate group from the time of such a merger.
Who is the deciding authority?
• The Chairman or the Speaker of House has the final say in disqualification in a defection case.
• Court has no say in such cases
• All proceedings in relation to any question on disqualification of a member of a House under this Schedule are deemed to be proceedings in Parliament or in the Legislature of a state.
Powers of a party whip under the Constitution in case of a defection:
• The whip is the person in charge to uphold the party directives in the House as the authorised voice of the party.
• In case of defection, whip can send a petition on the alleged defection to the Chairman or the Speaker of a House for their disqualification. He can also expel the members from the party.
• However, the expelled members might not lose their seats in the House until the Chairman or the Speaker of a House gives a final decision on their disqualification
Options ahead for disqualified elected member
• The disqualified member can stand for elections from any political party, except his former party, for a seat in the same House.