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Article 191(1)(e)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: The Election Commission of India has chosen not to take a stance on whether a disqualified lawmaker should be banned from contesting elections for five years.

 

The issue:

A petition has been filed in SC that an MP or an MLA who has either been disqualified from the House under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) or under Article 191(1)(e) of the Constitution should be barred from contesting elections for five years. This is to discourage MP/MLAs from switching the political party to gain political favour.

 

About the article:

Article 191(1)(e) gives the various grounds of disqualification “for being chosen as, and for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State” on:

  • Holding an office of profit
  • Being of unsound mind or undischarged solvent
  • Being a non-citizen or voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of a foreign state
  • Being under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign state.
  • If an MLA or an MLC is “disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament”

 

ECI argument: The issue falls under the interpretation of Article 191(1)(e) of the Constitution, and it would be appropriate for the Union government to deal with it. The commission’s mandate is limited to the conduct of elections in terms of the remit of Article 324 of the Constitution.