About the Anti Defection Act:
#GS II #Election related issues
Topic Election related issues:
- During a hearing regarding the political conflict between former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and current Eknath Shinde, the Supreme Court stated that the anti-defection law is applicable even if a faction splits from a political party and is successful in gaining a majority within the party itself.
Why Have Statutes Against Defection?
- Under the anti-defection statute, those MPs and MLAs who change parties are subject to fines.
- In 1985, Parliament amended the Constitution’s Tenth Schedule to include it. By deterring MPs from changing parties, it aimed to ensure political stability.
- The 52nd Amendment Act of 1985 added the Tenth Schedule, also referred to as the Anti-Defection Act, to the Constitution.
- It outlines the circumstances under which elected officials lose their eligibility to hold office if they change political parties.
- The party-hopping MLAs who overthrew various state governments following the 1967 general elections were the cause of this response.
- It does, however, let a group of MPs or MLAs to join (or work with) a different political party without having to worry about incurring a defection penalty. Also, political parties are not punished if they back or oppose disobedient lawmakers.
- The 1985 Act established a “merger” as the “defection” of a third of an elected political party’s members.
- Nevertheless, the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 modified this, requiring at least two-thirds of a party’s members to support a “merger” in order for it to be deemed as legal.
- The members of Congress who are not allowed to serve in the House are free to run for office on any political party’s platform.
- Before the Chairman or Speaker of that House decides to disqualify someone based on defection, a “judicial review” will be carried out.
- The Act, however, does not provide a deadline by which the presiding officer must choose whether to intervene in a defection case.
What Causes a Defection?
Willingly giving up:
- if an elected politician voluntarily gives up their party affiliation.
- If he votes in that House against the wishes of his political party or anyone else with that authority without first seeking permission.
- He must not have been permitted to abstain from voting within 15 days after the incident by his party or the designated person in order to be disqualified.
How Does Political System Defection Impact?
Voting restrictions being violated:
- When lawmakers are elected on the platform of one party but later feel it would be more convenient to shift to another party due to the temptation of cabinet seats or financial incentives, it is alleged that they are disobeying the will of their constituents by defecting.
Consequences for Regular Government Operations:
- In response to the ongoing legislative defections, the iconic “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” slogan was created in the 1960s.
- The executive branch is impacted by the defection, which disturbs the political order.
- Defection encourages legislator horse dealing, which is obviously against the objectives of the democratic system.