Why in news :
- A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India is presently hearing a set of cases popularly known as the “Maharashtra political controversy cases”.
More about the law :
- The anti-defection law was introduced into the Constitution via the Tenth Schedule, in 1985.
- Its purpose was to check increasingly frequent floor-crossing; lured by money, ministerial berths, threats, or a combination of the three, legislators were regularly switching party affiliations in the house (and bringing down governments with them).
- The Tenth Schedule sought to put a stop to this by stipulating that if any legislator voted against the party whip, he or she would be disqualified from the house.
Grounds of disqualification :
- If an elected member gives up his membership of a political party voluntarily.
- If he votes or abstains from voting in the House, contrary to any direction issued by his political party.
- If any member who is independently elected joins any party.
- If any nominated member joins any political party after the 6 months.
- The decision on disqualification questions on the ground of defection is referred to the Speaker or the Chairman of the House, and his/her decision is final.
Exceptions under the Anti Defection Law :
- If two-thirds of the legislators of a political party decide to merge into another party, neither the members who decide to join nor the ones who stay with the original party will face disqualification.
- Any person elected as chairman or speaker can resign from his party, and rejoin the party if he demits that post.
Deciding Authority :
- Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the House (Speaker/Chairman).
Syllabus : Prelims + Mains; GS2 – Polity