‘Debar Disqualified Lawmakers From Re-contesting By-elections’: SC Seeks Response From Centre, ECI

by Sidharth Pandey 3 years ago Views 4379

‘Debar Disqualified Lawmakers From Re-contesting B
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to submit their responses to a plea seeking to debar lawmakers who have been disqualified as members of the House under the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, referred to as the 'Anti-defection law', from re-contesting by-elections during the term of the House to which they were elected.

This comes as Congress leader Jaya Thakur from Madhya Pradesh had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions for the same.

Thakur’s petition comes in the light of several instances of MLAs resigning from the house to be reabsorbed into other political outfits and seek re-election under the new political flag. Thakur’s petition points out that by doing this, the anti-defection law had been made redundant.

The petition mentions that if Article 191(1)e of the constitution is read with the Xth Schedule, a member cannot re-contest during the term for which he was elected if he has been disqualified under the Xth schedule and that this needs to be enforced to ensure that the purpose of the anti-defection law is not defeated.

Thakur petition also highlights the examples of Manipur, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh where the then rebel Congress MLAs resigned to switch sides and form governments. In several of these cases, the rebels switching over were given ministerial posts or lucrative posts.

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the EC to submit their replies within four weeks after which it is expected to take up the petition for hearing.

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