Elections: Anti-Defection Law and the provisions of disqualification

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assembly elections
New Delhi, Dec 10: According to Delhi Assembly definition, Anti-Defection Law is - To discourage the practice of defection of members from one party to another after their election, the Constitution (Fifty-Second Amendment) Act, 1985 was enacted by the Parliament.

The Amendment to Article 102(regarding Members of either Houses of Parliament) and 191 (regarding Members of state legislatures) seeks to put an end to the evil of political defections that undermines the basic principle of democracy.

Amendment had been made in Article 191 to provide that a person shall be disqualified for being a member of the state Legislature if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

The Tenth Schedule - popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act - was included in the Constitution in 1985 by the Rajiv Gandhi ministry and sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party.

Provisions of disqualification

1. Interpretation.- In this Schedule, unless the context otherwise requires,- (a) "House" means either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly or, as the case may be, either House of the Legislature of a State.

2. Disqualification on ground of defection. - (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 3, 4 and 5, a member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House.

3. Disqualification on ground of defection not to apply in case of split.- Where a member of a House makes a claim that he and any other members of his legislature party constitute the group representing a faction which has arisen as a result of a split in his original political party and such group consists of not less than one-third of the members of such legislature party.

4. Disqualification on ground of defection not to apply in case of merger.- (1) A member of a House shall not be disqualified under sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 2 where his original political party merges with another political party and he claims that he and any other members of his original political party.

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph, the erger of the original political party of a member of a House shall be eemed to have taken place if, and only if, not less than two-thirds of the members of the legislature party concerned have agreed to such merger.

5. Exemption.- Notwithstanding anything contained in this Schedule, a person who has been elected to the office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the House of the People or the Deputy Chairman of the Council of States or the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council of a State or the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a State, shall not be disqualified under this Schedule.

6. Decision on questions as to disqualification on ground of defection.- (1) If any question arises as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Chairman or, as the case may be, the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final.

7. Bar of jurisdiction of courts.- Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, no court shall have any jurisdiction in respect of any matter connected with the disqualification of a member of a House under this Schedule.

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