Thursday, 7 July 2022

Anti defection law

 Anti defecation law

The 52nd amendment act of 1985 provided for the disqualification of the Members of parliament and the state legislatures on the ground of Defection from one party to another. For this purpose, it made changes In four article of the constitution [ 101,102,190,191] & added a new Schedule (tenth schedule). This act is often referred to as the anti- Defection law. 91st amendment act omitted the exception Provision, that is, disqualification on the ground of defection not to Apply in case of split.

A member of the legislative assembly (MLA) or a member of Parliament (MP) is deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily gives up membership of his party or disobeys the directives of the party leadership during voting in the House.

Provisions under constitution

The tenth schedule contains the following provision with respect to the disqualification of members of parliament and the state legislatures on the ground of defection.

Essential grounds for disqualification

A members of a house belonging to any political party becomes disqualified for being a members of the house.

If an elected members gives up his membership of such political Party.

If he votes or abstain from voting in such 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 end of six Month.


The disqualification on the ground of defection does not apply in the Following two case:

  • If a member goes out of his party as a result of a merger of the party. A merger takes place when two-thirds of the members of the party have agreed to such merger

  • If a member,after being elected as the presiding of house , voluntary gives up membership of party or rejoins it after he ceases to hold that office .this exemption has been provided in view of the dignity and impartiality of the office.

Decision making authority

Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by presiding officer of the house. Originally ,the act provide that the decision of the presiding officer is final and cannot be question in any court.

[kihoto hollon case] the supreme court

Declared this provision as unconstitutional on the ground .that it seeks to take away the jurisdiction of the supreme court and high court .the court rejected the contention that the vesting of adjudicatory powers in the presiding officer is by itself invalid on the ground of political bias.


Anti-defection law when it was passed, it aimed at bringing down the political defection but due to ever increasing political dishonesty and corruption this law never evolved properly and now a question arose that ‘whether achieving the goals of this law a reality or a myth?’ Politicians found loopholes in this law and used it for their own benefit. It is high time that a watchdog should be provided to our Parliament and there is a need for our constitutional pundits to revisit the issue to combat the menace of corruption and defection which has eroded the values of democracy.

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