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Supreme Court dismisses MP Cong leader's plea to debar defector-lawmakers from contesting polls or holding any office for 6 years

By LawStreet News Network      09 May, 2023 09:17 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court dismisses MP Cong leader's plea to debar defector-lawmakers from contesting polls or holding any office for 6 years

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has on Monday dismissed a plea to debar legislators, who resigned to topple a government, from contesting polls and holding any public office for six years under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala told advocate Varun Thakur, appearing for the petitioner, Jaya Thakur that such type of petitions can't be entertained.

The plea contended that legislators who are disqualified from the legislative assembly or have resigned should be restrained from contesting elections.

The petition filed through advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma stated that a defector should be debarred from holding any remunerative post till the existing term of legislature, in order to discourage corrupt practice of resignation to overthrow the incumbent government and joining a new dispensation.

"MLAs, MPs contest the election at the cost of huge public exchequer, but they are giving resignation on their own choice for personal benefits or with ulterior motive. They are defeating the law laid down by Parliament in the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) upheld by the Supreme Court in the “Kihoti Hollohan” case 1992," her plea stated.

The petitioner cited instances of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh where a group of MLAs resigned to topple the existing governments, and joined the new ones as ministers after getting re-elected in bypolls.

"In democracy, this is a dangerous because opportunists take the advantage of this situation at the cost of the public exchequer. This is a new type of corruption, which is defeating the object of the Tenth Schedule to curb the evil of political defections motivated by lure of office or other similar consideration," it said.

The petition sought a direction for implementation of the recommendation of the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution about the amendment of Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

The plea contended the Tenth Schedule should be amended specifically to provide that all persons defecting- whether individually or in groups - from the party or the alliance of parties, on whose ticket they had been elected, must resign from their Parliamentary or Assembly seats and must contest fresh elections. 

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