DMPQ: What is 52nd Constitutional amendment act. Discuss the issues attached with it.

52nd CAA introduces anti defection law which makes defection  a difficult process. The  objective of the law was to prevent horse trading  and use of money power in getting required support in the parliament and assemblies. It has able to achieve the desired objectives but it is not immune from criticism. The issues with anti-defection are:

  • The speaker decision is final when question of defection arises. Speaker, being the member of ruling party raises the doubt on the decision of speaker. In kohoto hollahan case, speaker decision is subjected to judicial review. Ideally EC similar to article 103 shall decide the fate of the legislator.(similar to house of profit)
  • Anti defection law has lead to whip gagging or whip culture. Legislators act according to the diktats of high command as opposed to their conscience. It also compromises their ability to voice the interest of their voters. The leaders of the ruling party need to only convince leader of political party to get their bill through.
  • Inclusion of coalition partner under anti defection law. It has been suggested by 2nd ARC as instability in government is also a function of coalition partners leaving the formation.
  • The law is silent on anti party activities outside legislature. Such member can be expelled by the party. Yet they would not attract disqualification.
  • Independent member can’t join any political party but nominated members can. Why such disparity.

( Please give some future course like: Anti defection in the case of confidence and no confidence movement, dinesh goswami report on electoral reforms, law commission report 170th one…issue whip when govt. is in danger).


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