Analysis of Anti-Defection Laws in India

  • Yash Patil, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Pune
  • December 24, 2020

Content :

The 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1985 added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution, popularly known as the “Anti-Defection law”. The Law has succeeded in some ways in fulfilling its aim to bring party stability and curb defections but due to some of its erroneous provisions, it is unable to achieve the best it can. Many scholars may be surprised to learn that parliamentary members who switch parties during the session may be expelled from parliament because they violate the law in the country. This article studies such “anti-defection” Law in India. The law has succeeded in a reasonable manner and has been able to secure party stability to some extent. In order to combat political defections, the Tenth Schedule was inserted into the Constitution of India in 1985. The Tenth Schedule introduced the anti-defection law in India by laying down that legislators who voluntarily give up membership of the party they belong to and legislators who disobey the whip issued by the party with regard to voting, shall incur disqualification. The schedule mentions the grounds on which a defecting member stands disqualified from his original political party. The intention of this law is to ensure political stability and prevent legislators from being bribed to defect and indulge in floor crossing. The individual identify of legislators has diminished and has led to the rise of political parties as extra constitutional authorities. The present article seeks to provide a brief analysis of the grounds mentioned in the Tenth Schedule. It also highlights some of the merits and demerits of the law. As the law gets older and older, we find that with the corruption prevalent amongst politicians and given their dishonest tactics, they have been able to take advantage of loopholes in the law to suit their personal needs. This is the reason why the law has not been able to achieve the best it can. The present article tries to delve into the loopholes, which render the 52nd Amendment Act somewhat unsuitable and unsuccessful.