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Anti-defection law for independent legislators

Date: 30 September 2021 Tags: Constitution

Issue

Independent MLA and dalit activist from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani could not officially join congress party due to the anti-defection law.

 

Background

The 52nd constitutional amendment act of 1985 had inserted the tenth schedule to prevent defections from one party to another.

 

Details

Changing of political parties by legislators is not allowed by anti-defection law under certain circumstances. It also applies to independent legislators.

 

Conditions for anti-defection law

  • There are three conditions or scenarios governing anti-defection law. It applies to both MLAs as well as MPs.

  • The first is when a member of legislation elected on the ticket of a certain political party “voluntarily gives up” membership of the party or votes in the House against the directions of the party.

  • The second condition is when a legislator who has won the seat as an independent candidate joins a political party after the election.

  • In both the circumstances, the legislator loses his/her seat on changing the political party.

  • In case of nominated MPs, they will be given a time of six months to join a political party after nomination. If they join a party after six months, they lose their seat.

 

Independent defection

  • A committee chaired by YB Chavan observed that many independent legislators joined the political parties after their election.

  • Any effort to bring a law on independent members was opposed. Independent and nominated members were allowed to join a party once.

 

Disqualification

  • The presiding officer of the legislature has the power to decide on the defection case under the anti-defection law. The time frame has not been mentioned for the decision.

  • It has been observed that speakers have taken years together to decide on the defection case. The Supreme Court had directed speakers to make decisions within three months.

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