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SC NOTICE ON PLEA TO BAR DISQUALIFIED LEGISLATORS

SC NOTICE ON PLEA TO BAR DISQUALIFIED LEGISLATORS

Context

The Supreme Court asked the Centre and the Election Commission of India (EC) to respond to a plea to debar legislators, disqualified under the Tenth Schedule, from contesting byelections during the rest of the tenure of the House.

Details

  • The SC notice comes in the backdrop of recent political events in several States such as Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka in which Members of Legislative Assemblies resign, followed by the collapse of the incumbent government.

About  10th Schedule

  • The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
  • A legislator is deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or disobeys the directives of the 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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