Karnataka Assembly Speaker has disqualified 14 MLAs under the tenth schedule of the Constitution(anti defection law).
The disqualification bars the legislators from contesting Assembly polls for the term of the current Assembly and also bars them from holding constitutional posts during this period.
The Anti-defection law is contained in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.It was enacted by Parliament in 1985.
The purpose of the anti-defection law is to curb political defection by the legislators.The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
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.
There are two grounds on which a member of a legislature can be disqualified: a) if he/she voluntarily gives up the membership of his/her party and b) if a legislator votes in the House against the direction of his/her party and his/her action is not condoned by his party.
There is an exception that has been provided in the law to protect the legislators from disqualification.The 10th Schedule says that if there is a merger between two political parties and two-thirds of the members of a legislature party agree to the merger, they will not be disqualified.
In Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu and Others (1991),the Supreme Court Constitution Bench had declared that the Speaker’s decision was subject to judicial review.
Further,the Speaker of the House does not have the power to review his own decisions to disqualify a candidate.Such power is not provided for under the Schedule and is not implicit in the provisions either.