Question: Anti-defection law plays a major role in providing political stability in India. Critically analyze.
Answer: Anti-defection law finds plays in the Indian constitution under the 10th schedule. The schedule was added under the 52nd constitutional amendment after a string a political defections regularly.
Features of 10th schedule
- The law applies to legislators in certain conditions when they move from one political party to another.
- If a member elected on a ticket of a political party voluntarily gives up his party membership he loses his seat.
- If a member elected on a party ticket votes against the directions given by the party then the law can be invoked.
- If an independent member joins a political party after winning then also the law is applicable.
- Nominated members joining a political party after six months of his/her nomination can also be disqualified under the law.
Decision of suspension
- The presiding officer of the house has the powers to decide disqualifications under the anti-defection law.
- The powers are not absolute as judicial review can be exercised in the case.
Significance of anti-defection law
- Stable governments
The law has allowed states and union to have stable governments as defection rate has come down significantly. It has allowed business transaction to take place as usual.
- Political commitment
Members elected on part ticket are now committed to their political party. They adhere by the directions issued by the party.
Drawbacks in the law
- Takes away individual conscience
After the law came into being, members have to follow directions of party and cannot vote on their conscience. There is no scope for individual morality while making decisions.
- Lack of time frame
The constitution does not put any time limit on the decision of the presiding officer to disqualify a member under the law. This has resulted in years together of pending cases.
Thus, anti-defection law has majorly helped in reforming political system in India. It has reduced scope for horse trading openly as it was before its conception.