The 91st Constitution Amendment Act 2003 deals with the anti-defection law. In this article, we will discuss the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act 2003 in a simple and easy way and understand its various important aspects. [E 8/10]
You can this amendment act is an extension of Anti-defection Law, So to understand the anti-defection law well, read this article till the end;
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91st Constitution Amendment Act 2003
Background of the 91st Constitution Amendment Act 2003
In the sixties and seventies, the incidents of defection by politicians started increasing so fast that soon this topic turned into a concern. Whenever he felt like he used to change his party according to his wish and interest.
To curb this, in 1985 by the 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act, the Tenth Schedule was added to the Constitution, which aimed to strengthen the Indian parliamentary democracy and to prevent unprincipled and immoral defection. This was called the anti- defection law , there is a separate article on this, you must understand it before understanding this article.
The expectations from this anti-defection law could not be fulfilled, because the one who had to change the party would have found some way or the other. Secondly, there was a provision in the anti-defection law that if one-third members leave one party and join another party, then it will not be considered as defection.
And only this provision began to be taken a lot of advantage, because the defection which used to be individual earlier, now it started happening in bulk. And once again this topic became a cause for concern, there were many criticisms. Keeping this in mind and to make defection a little more strict, some amendments were made in this law by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003. Before knowing about the amendment in it, let us first know why it was needed.
Reason for bringing 91st Constitutional Amendment Act 2003
The following are the reasons for enactment of the 91st Amendment Act 2003:
◾ As we have just mentioned above that the provisions of this law have not proved effective in stopping defection. On the contrary, the Tenth Schedule has also been criticized on the ground that it prohibits individual defection, but it encourages large-scale defection, hence there is a demand to strengthen the law against defection in the Tenth Schedule.
◾ The Dinesh Goswami committee (which was an election reform committee) in its 1990 report talked about improving it. Apart from this, the Law Commission of India in its 170th Report and the National Commission for Reform of Election Laws (1999) and Review of the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) in its 2002 report have recommended removal of that provision of the Tenth Schedule, In which there is exemption from disqualification in cases of defection.
Apart from this, NCRWC also said that the defector should be punished by removing him from the post of minister or other public or profitable political position. And he should be removed from office until the term of the current legislature is over or a new legislature is formed after fresh elections.
◾ The commission constituted to review the working of the constitution (NCRWC) has also expressed the opinion that large councils of ministers have been formed at the center and in the states. That is, as many people as they want are being made ministers. So there should be a certain number for this and it should not be more than 10 percent of the total number of members of the House in the Central or State Governments.
Provision of 91st Constitution Amendment Act 2003
The following provisions have been made by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act 2003 to keep the size of the cabinet small, prevent disqualified people from holding civil posts and strengthen the anti-defection law:
Amendment of article 75
Under Article 75, it was provided that the size of the entire Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha.
Secondly, a member of any political party of either House of Parliament who has been disqualified on the ground of defection, shall also be disqualified to hold any ministerial office.
Amendment of article 164
Under Article 164, it was provided that the size of the entire Council of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the State Legislature. But the total strength of the entire Council of Ministers including the Chief Minister should not be less than 2.
Secondly, a member of any political party of either House of the State Legislature, who has been disqualified on the ground of defection, shall also be disqualified to hold any political office of profit.
Disqualification for appointment to remunerative political post
It has been added under Article 361(b) that – A member of any political party of either House of Parliament or a State Legislature, who has been disqualified on the ground of defection, shall be entitled to any profit. will also be disqualified to hold political office.
Here political office of profit means – (a) any such office under the Central Government or the State Government for which the salary and other benefits are given by the concerned Government from the public revenue. or (b) any office under any body (whether incorporated or not), which is wholly or partly owned by the Central Government or a State Government and for which salary and other benefits are provided by such body.
Amendment in Tenth Schedule
The provisions of the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) shall not apply in the event of a split when one-third of the members of a party break away from that party and join another faction. That is, now if even one-third of the members are separated from any party, then they will not be exempted from protection, but they will also be considered disqualified.
In other words, when a legislature party decides to merge with another party and such decision is supported by two-thirds of its members, it will not be called a defection.
So this was the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act 2003 Original PDF ️ , Hope you have understood, for better understanding, you must also read other articles related to elections. The link is being given below.