Disqualification of Tamilnadu MLAs and Anti-Defection Law

What is the news?

Madras High Court, upheld the validity of an order passed by the Tamilnadu Assembly speaker P Dhanapal in 2017, disqualifying 18 AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to T.T.V Dhinakaran under the anti-defection law.

The court categorically held that the Speaker’s order did not suffer from any of the grounds of attack, be it breach of constitutional mandate, mala fide intentions, perversity or non ­adherence to principles of natural justice.


What is Anti-Defection Act?

  • Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2) of the constitution of India deals with anti-defection.
  • The Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution is known as the Anti-Defection Act.
  • It was not a part of the original constitution of India.
  • It was included in the Constitution in the year 1985.
  • The main intent of the anti-defection law was to deter “the evil of political defections” by legislators.

Grounds for disqualification

  • If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party;
  • If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorised to do so, without obtaining prior permission.
  • If a nominated member joins a political party after 6 months of nomination
  • If an independent candidate if he/she joins a party after the election.

Who can disqualify members?

  • Speaker/ chairman of the house is the authority to decide on defection cases.
  • Speaker sits as a tribunal while deciding on defection cases.

Can courts interfere in this matter?

  • No court has any jurisdiction as per the anti-defection law. The law states that the decision is final and not subject to judicial review.
  • But, the Supreme Court in Kihoto Hollohan case of 1992 struck down part of this condition. It held that there may not be any judicial intervention until the presiding officer gives his order.
  • However, the final decision is subject to appeal in the High Courts and Supreme Court.


Prepared By: Sai Eswar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *