- August 31, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Polity
Context – Almost seven months after the Babulal Marandi-led Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) merged with the BJP in February this year, the Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahato has not yet taken any decision on granting status of Leader of the Opposition (LoP) to him under the anti-defection law pertaining to 10th Schedule of the Constitution
- The Tenth Schedule — popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act— was included in the Constitution via the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985 and sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party.
- The grounds for disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law are as follows:
- If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party.
- If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorized to do so, without obtaining prior permission.
- If any independently elected member joins any political party.
- If any nominated member joins any political party after the expiry of six months.
- As per the 1985 Act, a ‘defection’ by one-third of the elected members of a political party was considered a ‘merger’.
- But the 91stConstitutional Amendment Act, 2003, changed this and now at least two-thirds of the members of a party have to be in favour of a “merger” for it to have validity in the eyes of the law.
- The members so disqualified can stand for elections from any political party for a seat in the same House.
- The decision on questions as to disqualification on ground of defection are referred to the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, which is subject to ‘Judicial review’.
- There is no time limit as per the law within which the Presiding Officers should decide on a plea for disqualification. The courts also can intervene only after the officer has made a decision, and so the only option for the petitioner is to wait until the decision is made.
- The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.