March 6, 2024
court hammer books judgment law concept

The 10th Schedule to the Indian Constitution discourages people from changing political parties. It acts as a deterrent to people who might otherwise switch political parties. It also allows MLAs and MPs to switch parties without facing any consequences. The Anti-Defection Law is the popular term for the tenth schedule of the Indian constitution.

The purpose of the Anti-Defection Law was to ensure that party members did not go against the party’s platform; if they did, they would be removed from the House. The anti-defection law was passed in 1985 and was added to both the Indian Constitution’s 10th Schedule and the 52nd Amendment Act.

anti-defection law meaning

  • The 10th Schedule of the Constitution contains an anti-defection law that was passed to stop lawmakers from frequently leaving the chamber.
  • Through the 52nd Amendment Act, it was incorporated into the Constitution in 1985.
  • It states that elected officials who voluntarily switch parties or cast votes against party lines will lose their standing in the legislature.

anti-defection law: Needs

  • Limiting the Influence of Money and Power on Politicians: the idea that this is necessary to prevent politicians from being corrupted and to make sure that they answer to the people who elected them.
  • Maintaining Cohesion: It was also considered a means of preventing the party system’s fragmentation and fostering stability and cohesion within political parties.
  • Political Stability: To bolster democracy by stabilizing the executive branch and guaranteeing that the government’s legislative agenda is not compromised by a dissident lawmaker.
  • Responsibility: To instil greater accountability and loyalty among parliamentarians toward the political parties they supported during their election.

anti-defection law: Provisions

  • It is essential to comprehend the background of this law’s passage before you can comprehend any of the provisions of India’s anti-defection legislation. The Haryana MLA Gaya Lala changed parties three times in one day in 1967, which led to the creation of the anti-defection law.
  • Such political defections that are carried out purely for the promise of financial gain or office reward are prohibited by the anti-defection law.
  • The procedure by which lawmakers who switch parties can be disqualified for defection is outlined in the law. If a petition signed by other House members is submitted, the Presiding Officer of a legislature has the authority to carry out the disqualification.
  • Both state assemblies and the Parliament are subject to the anti-defection law. 

anti-defection law cases in india

  • In the case of Kihoto Hollohan v Zachillhu and Ors, the Indian Supreme Court affirmed the law’s constitutionality, concluding that its provisions were essential to maintaining the integrity of elections and preventing governments from becoming unstable.
  • In the case of G. Viswanathan v Hon’ble Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, the Speaker of a legislative assembly has the authority to make decisions regarding defection, and the Supreme Court decided that the Speaker’s decision is final and cannot be contested in court.
  • In the case of Rajendra Singh Rana v Master Prasad Maurya, the High Court stated that the Speaker is not operating in accordance with the 10th Schedule if he fails to investigate complaints or admits cases of parts or consolidations without reaching a decision. He is also thought to be violating his protected obligations.

anti-defection law: Challenges Faced

  • The anti-defection bill forbids lawmakers from changing sides in an effort to maintain the stability of the government.
  • However, this statute forbids lawmakers from casting votes based on their morality, discretion, or the needs of their constituents.
  • Because the anti-defection law ensures that members vote in accordance with party leadership decisions, it hinders the Legislature’s ability to oversee the government.
  • Put another way, lawmakers cannot effectively act as a check on the government if they are not allowed to vote on legislation on their own.
  • The Anti-Defection Law essentially established the division of powers between the Legislature and the Executive, giving the executives more authority.
  • The law states that the Presiding Officer of a legislature may disqualify a legislator from defecting on the basis of a petition from any other House member.
  • Nonetheless, there are other situations where the governing authorities uphold the firmly held beliefs of a governing political party or administration.
  • Furthermore, there is no requirement in the statute for the Presiding Officer to select a disqualification plea within a certain amount of time.
  • Because of this, the decision occasionally depends on the presiding officer’s whims and fancy.
  • In India, the Anti-Defection Law replaced discourse and discussion with a democracy centered on parties and numbers.
  • This weakens parliamentary debates on any measure since it does not distinguish between dissent and defection.

By limiting political defections, the Indian Constitution’s Anti-Defection Law seeks to maintain democratic stability. Despite its significance, obstacles like limitations on lawmakers’ freedom of speech and procedural problems highlight the need for reforms. The suggested actions are based on global experiences and seek to strike a balance between accountability and stability. Acknowledging exceptions for public interest and party mergers, the law needs to change to stay relevant in India’s changing political environment and maintain a strong democracy.

For any latest news, legal topics, judiciary exams notifications, patterns, etc watch Jyoti Judiciary’s YouTube channel for legal videos for any updates at

Leave a Comment