Defection law under focus after K'taka crisis

Defection law under focus after K'taka crisis

The Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution deals with disqualification of a member of either House of the Parliament or the Legislative Assembly on the ground of defection.  
Brought in the Constitution by the 52 amendment in 1985, the provisions put a check on horse trading — MPs or MLAs crossing the floor to suit political expediency or due to extraneous considerations.

According to the schedule, a member of a House, belonging to any political party would be disqualified if the person voluntarily gives up membership of the political party and votes or abstains from voting in the House defying the party whip.
The member could be saved from disqualification only in case the party to which he or she belongs to condones such cross voting or abstention within 15 days of the incident.
The anti-defection law can also be invoked against an MP or MLA if he or she joins any other party after the election.

In case of nominated members, the Constitution says he or she can be disqualified if the person joins any political party six months after the nomination.

The schedule further clarifies that the disqualification would not be attracted against those members whose political party merges with another party and he or she decides to remain with his or her original party.

The merger would, however, be considered to have taken place only if not less than two-third members of a legislature party have agreed for it.

The anti-defection legislation exempts those members from disqualification who have been elected as the speaker or the deputy speaker in the Lower House and the deputy chairman in the Upper House.