- The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution by the Fifty-Second Amendment Act, 1985.
Enrich Your Learning:
‘Kihoto Hollohan case’
- A constitutional challenge to the Tenth Schedule was settled by the apex court in Kihoto Hollohan.
- The law covering the disqualification of legislators and the powers of the Speaker in deciding such matters became part of the statute book in 1985 when the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution was adopted.
- The Schedule’s provisions were “salutory and intended to strengthen the fabric of Indian Parliamentary democracy by curbing unprincipled and unethical political defections.”
What does the Tenth Schedule say?
- The Tenth Schedule provides for the disqualification of Members of Parliament and state legislatures who defect.
- It was inserted in the Constitution by the Constitution (Fifty-Second Amendment) Act, 1985, popularly known as the “anti-defection law”.
What is the extent of the Speaker’s powers?
- Paragraph 6(1) of the Tenth Schedule describes the Speaker’s sweeping discretionary powers: “If any question arises as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Chairman or, as the case may be, the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final.”
What was the principal question before the Supreme Court in the case?
- The principal question before the Supreme Court in the case was whether the powerful role given to the Speaker violated the doctrine of Basic Structure of the constitution.
- Basic Structure of the constitution is the judicial principle that certain basic features of the Constitution cannot be altered by amendments by Parliament, laid down in the landmark judgment in Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala (1973).