Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
4) Discuss the salient features of Anti-defection law in the light of 91st constitutional amendment Act. (250 words)
Why this question:
The question is direct and is based upon the concept of Anti-defection law in the background of 91st constitutional amendment Act.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must provide for salient features enshrined in the Anti-defection law. State how historically the constitution had no reference to political parties and their existence and later the anti defection law evolved through historical milestones around the elections.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Begin with definition – The tenth schedule of the Indian Constitution, also called the Anti-Defection act, was amended in 1985 to prevent such defections and stop politicians from changing parties for the lure of office.
In brief discuss –
- What is 91st Amendment Act?
- What is meant by anti-defection law?
- Under Anti-Defection Act, an elected member of a party can be disqualified on two grounds –
- If he voluntarily gives up his membership or
- He votes or abstains from voting in the House, contrary to his party’s direction and without obtaining prior permission.
According to the anti-defection law, at least two-thirds of the members of a party have to be in favor of a ‘merger’ for it to possess validity in the eyes of the law.
- Explain the exceptions –
- If a complete political party merges with another political party
- If a new political party is created by the elected members of one party
- If the party members don’t accept the merger between the two parties and opts to perform as a separate group from the time of such a merger.
Another condition is that his abstaining the voting should not be overlooked by his party within 15 days of such incident.
Conclude with importance of such an act in conducting free and fair elections.