Anti-Defection Law | IAS Target IAS Target

Anti-Defection Law

12 Dec 2021

Category : National Issue

Topic: Anti-Defection Law

Recently, the Calcutta High Court has issued West Bengal Assembly Speaker a finish date to skip an order withinside the defection case concerning a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA). Anti-defection lawsuits are also occurring in different states, including Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

Key Points

  • The anti-defection law punishes character Members of Parliament (MPs)/MLAs for leaving one birthday celebration for any other.
  • Parliament brought it to the Constitution because of the Tenth Schedule in 1985.
  • However, its reason turned into carrying a balance to governments through discouraging legislators from converting events.
  • The Tenth Schedule - popularly referred to as the Anti-Defection Act - turned into protected within the Constitution through the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985 and units the provisions for disqualification of elected contributors at the grounds of defection to any other political birthday celebration.
  • It turned into a reaction to the toppling of a couple of country governments through birthday celebration-hopping MLAs after the general elections of 1967.
  • However, it lets a set of MP/MLAs join (i.e. merge with) any other political birthday celebration without inviting the penalty for defection. And it no longer penalises political events for encouraging or accepting defecting legislators.
  • As consistent with the 1985 Act, a `defection' through one-1/3 of the elected contributors of a political birthday celebration turned into consideration a 'merger'.
  • But the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, modified this and now, at least two-thirds of the contributors of a celebration need to be in favour of a "merger" for it to have validity withinside the eyes of the regulation.
  • The contributors disqualified beneath the regulation can stand for elections from any political birthday celebration for a seat within the identical House.
  • The choice on questions as to disqualification on the floor of defection are mentioned by the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, that is difficult to `Judicial review`.
  • However, the regulation no longer offers a time-body inside which the presiding officer has to determine a defection case.

Grounds of Disqualification:

  • If an elected member voluntarily offers up his club a political birthday celebration.
  • If he votes or abstains from balloting in such House opposite to any course issued through his political birthday celebration or all and sundry accredited to do so, without acquiring prior permission.
  • As a pre-situation for his disqualification, his abstention from balloting must now no longer be condoned through his birthday celebration or the accredited individual within 15 days of such incident.
  • If any independently elected member joins any political birthday celebration.
  • If any nominated member joins any political birthday celebration after the expiry of six months.

Related Issues:

Undermining Representative & Parliamentary Democracy: After enacting the Anti-defection law, the MP or MLA has to comply with the birthday celebration's course blindly and has no freedom to vote their judgment. Due to the Anti-Defection law, the duty chain has been damaged by making legislators responsible for the political birthday celebration.
Controversial Role of Speaker: In many instances, the Speaker (generally from the ruling birthday celebration) has not selected the disqualification on time.
No Recognition of Split: Due to the 91st change, the anti-defection law created an exception for anti-defection rulings. However, the change no longer understands a `split` in a legislature birthday celebration and instead recognises a `merger`.
Subversion of Electoral Mandates: Defection is the subversion of electoral mandates through legislators who get elected at the price tag of 1 birthday celebration; however, they then discover it handy to shift to any other because of the trap of ministerial berths or economic gains.
Affects the Normal Functioning of Government: The infamous "Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram" slogan was coined in opposition to the historical past of non-stop defections through legislators within the 1960s. The defection results in instability withinside the authorities and influences the administration.
Promote Horse-Trading: Defection additionally promotes horse-buying and selling of legislators, which pass in opposition to the mandate of a democratic setup.


  • The Election Commission has advised it must be the determining authority in defection instances.
  • Others have asserted that the President and Governors must attend to defection petitions.
  • The Supreme Court has advised that Parliament must installation an impartial tribunal headed through a retired decide of the better judiciary to determine defection instances hastily and impartially.
  • Some commentators have stated the regulation has failed and encouraged its removal. Former Vice President Hamid Ansari has advised that it applies simplest to keep governments in no-self assurance motions.

Looking Forward

  • If authorities' balance is a trouble because of human beings defecting from their events, the solution is to reinforce their inner part of democracy.
  • There is an ardent want for rules that governs political events in India. Such a regulation must carry political events beneath RTI, support intra-birthday birthday celebration democracy, etc.
  • Chairman/Speaker of the House, being the very final authority in phrases of defection, influences the doctrine of separation of powers.
  • In this context, shifting this electricity to a better judiciary or Election Commission may also reduce the risk of defection.
  • To defend the unfavourable impact of the anti-defection regulation on consultant democracy, the scope of the regulation may be limited to most straightforward the laws, wherein the defeat of the presidency can cause a lack of self-assurance.