Anti Defection Law in India
By Advocate Deepanshu Gupta / 2016-05-12
The Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985 through the 52nd Amendment to the Constitution, which added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution. The main intent of the law was to combat “the evil of political defections”. It was made to bring stability to structure of political system by preventing the frequent change of parties by members. This law bars that once a person is elected as a member of House, he cannot change its party after the elections. There are various grounds of defections which can lead to the disqualification that is pointed out in Tenth Schedule.

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The Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985 through the 52nd Amendment to the Constitution, which added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution. The main intent of the law was to combat “the evil of political defections”. It was made to bring stability to the structure of a political system by preventing the frequent change of parties by members. This law bars that once a person is elected as a member of House, he cannot change its party after the elections.   There are various grounds of defections which can lead to the disqualification that is pointed out in Tenth Schedule.

The main grounds of defection are as follows

1.The member of House voluntarily give up his membership from such party

The phrase ‘voluntarily giving up’ is not explained in the Schedule. In a case  G. Vishwanathan v. Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly question arose that - Whether a member can be said to voluntarily give up his membership of a  party if he joins another party after being expelled by his old political party? The court ruled that once a member is expelled, he is treated as an ‘unattached’ member in the house.

However, he continues to be a member of the old party as per the Tenth Schedule.  In another case Ravi S Naik v. Union of India another question arose that - Whether the only resignation constitutes voluntarily giving up the membership of a political party? The court decided that the phrase “voluntarily giving up membership” have a wider meaning. An inference can also be drawn from the conduct of the member that he has voluntarily given up the membership of his party.

The Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985 through the 52nd Amendment to the Constitution, which added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution. The main intent of the law was to combat “the evil of political defections”. It was made to bring stability to structure of political system by preventing the frequent change of parties by members. This law bars that once a person is elected as a member of House, he cannot change its party after the elections. There are various grounds of defections which can lead to the disqualification that is pointed out in Tenth Schedule.

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