Legislator facing disqualification can’t attend floor test

Legislator facing disqualification can’t attend floor test

Recently, the Supreme Court has said that MLAs facing disqualification cannot appear in the floor test.

The Supreme Court has given its verdict on the disqualification of MLAs while hearing the anti-defection case related to Maharashtra.

Key findings of verdict-

  • The top court has observed that allowing a Member of Parliament or a Member of the Legislative Assembly facing disqualification under the ‘anti-defection law’ to participate in the floor test would tantamount to legalizing an act unconstitutional.
  • Elected members of the House are bound by the instructions of the Whip in the House. Therefore actions disobeying the instructions of the whip will lead to disqualification.
  • The anti-defection law provides for disqualification of legislators who, after being elected on a political party ticket, voluntarily give up membership of that party.

Grounds of disqualification-

  • If a member votes in the House contrary to any direction issued by his political party and without obtaining the prior permission of the party or abstains from voting and such act is not condoned by that party within 15 days, his membership ceases.
  • If the nominated member joins any political party after the expiry of 6 months from the date of nomination. Then his membership expires.
  • If an independent member joins any political party, then his membership ceases.
  • Adjudicating Authority: The Presiding Officer of the House shall decide any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection.
  • In the Kihoto Holohan case it was decided that the decision of the presiding officer would be subject to judicial review.
  • A whip is a written ordinance. It makes it mandatory for the members of the party to be present in the State Legislative Assembly or Parliament before voting on any important matter in the House.
  • India has inherited the concept of whip from the British parliamentary system. There are three types of whips – one line whip, two line whip and three line whip.

Anti-defection law

  • Anti-defection law punishes Members of Parliament/Assembly for switching from one party to another.
  • Parliament added it to the Constitution in 1985 as the Tenth Schedule. Its purpose was to bring stability in governments by discouraging defecting MLAs.
  • The Tenth Schedule, known as the Anti-defection Act, was included in the Constitution through the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985 and lays down provisions for disqualification of elected members on the ground of defection to another political party.

Source – The Hindu

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