Q. 10th schedule was introduced with the Nobel vision to safeguard the fundamentals of the constitution and principles of elections, today it is mostly used to destabilise the working forces of the democracy in one from or the another. Elaborate the vision with which 10th scheduled was framed into our constitution and how it has changed in present times.
– Briefly introduce about 10th schedule of the constitution
- Elaborate the vision with which 10th schedule was framed into our constitution
- Write various instances where this schedule was misused for political benefits.
- Highlight the issues and loophole in the 10th
- Suggest some measures that need to be taken in order to strengthen the 10th schedule (Although not asked in the question)
- 10th schedule was introduced in 1985 by 52nd amendment of the Constitution to strengthen democratic governance system, popularly known as Anti-defection law provided for disqualification of members of legislature.
- The vision with which 10th schedule of the constitution was framed into our constitution –
- Upholding people’s mandate – Defection based disqualifications were aimed at checking instability of popularly elected government.
- Curbing “Aaya Ram Gaya Ram” Politics – Frequent switching of parties by legislators, created this “aaya ram gaya ram” politics. Anti-defection law mainly targeted this phenomenon. 91st amendment even banned party split based defections.
- But recent fall of Governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and deliberate attempts in Rajasthan etc. have shown some loopholes in 10th schedule and various other issues such as –
- Curbing dissent from party lines – It is used to curb freedom of speech of party members. Any vote or statement against party is vulnerable to attract defection/ disqualification.
- Misuse of Position of speaker –
- No time limit to decide the issue of defection, example in Manipur the disqualification of an opposition member was not decided and in-fact he was given position of minister by ruling party.
- Rules for procedure of disqualification is decided by speaker, which mostly favours ruling party.
- Debate and discussion-based democracy to democracy of party and numbers, where the main focus has shifted to retain numbers in Parliament.
- Thus, there is a need to make changes in the 10th schedule to deal with the above issues –
- Decision of disqualification can be given to some independent continuous body like Election Commission of Indian. Supreme Court in KihotoHollohan case (1993) has also recognised that speaker’s office is not an independent continuous office and is subjected to judicial review.
- Considering suggestions from Dinesh Goswami Committee and Law Commission 170th report regarding the Anti Defection law.