- 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.
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