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Disqualification of MLAs case: SC's verdict

Disqualification of MLAs case: SC's verdict

On 13th November 2019, the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the order disqualifying 17 Karnataka MLAs in July by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

A bench of three judges reserved their verdict on the petitions filed by these disqualified MLAs on October 25.

Highlights:

  • The term of disqualification was over and the apex court upheld the disqualification of Congress and the JD (S) MLAs.
  • In the upcoming by-elections, the order allows all ineligible legislators to contest elections. As per the former speaker that MLAs cannot contest elections till the end of the term of the current assembly in 2023.

Anti-Defection Law

The Schedule X of the Indian Constitution lays down the process and procedure by which legislators can be disqualified on grounds of defection by the presiding officer of the legislature. The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985. An MLA is deemed to have been defected

  • if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the party
  • If he disobeys party leadership on a vote

This implies that a legislator defying (abstaining or voting against) the party whip on any issue can lose his membership of the House. The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.

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