Anti-DefectionLaw is described in Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. It is included in the Constitution by the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985. It sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party. It is enacted to prevent horse trading in case of hung Parliament.
Grounds for disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law's Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2)
a) If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party;
b) If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party.
Loopholes in 1985 Act
As per the 1985 Act, a ‘defection’ by one-third of the elected members of a political party was considered a ‘merger’. Such defections were not actionable against.
The Dinesh Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms, in its report recommended the deletion of the Tenth Schedule provision regarding exemption from disqualification in case of a split.
Finally the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, changed this. So now ‘defection’ of at least two-thirds of the members of a party is considered as ‘merger’.
Deciding authority for disqualification on ground of defection
The Chairman or the Speaker of such House will decide on question of disqualification on ground of defection, and his decision is final.
All proceedings in this regard are deemed to be proceedings in Parliament or in the Legislature of a state. No court has any jurisdiction.