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CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTSAn Omnibus Comprising Constitutional Questions in India and Citizens' Rights, Judges and State Accountability$
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A. G. Noorani

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.001.0001

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The Speaker on the Law of Defection 1

The Speaker on the Law of Defection 1

(p.188) 29 The Speaker on the Law of Defection1

A.G. Noorani

Oxford University Press

This chapter criticises the June 1993 ruling made by Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil on the expelled members of the Janata Dal. It argues that Patil's decision to provide separate seats in the Lok Sabha for the expellees legitimised political defections instead of curbing it. It explains that the expellees violated the Dal's whip and that the anti-defection law condones a genuine split but not wholesale defection by one-third of the party. It proposes a number of reforms that can be made in order to address the issue. These include debarring anyone changing political affiliation from public office for a year and giving the legislature the sole responsibility for deciding whether the government commands majority support.

Keywords:   Shivraj Patil, Janata Dal, Lok Sabha, political defections, anti-defection law, political affiliation, legislature, majority support

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