What Is Anti- Defection Law?

By Ishika

4th July, 2023

The anti-defection law punishes individual Members of Parliament (MPs)/MLAs for leaving one party for another.


“Here’s everything you need to know about the anti- defection law”

– The anti-defection law punishes individual MPs/MLAs for leaving one party for another. – It was added by 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act as the Tenth Schedule in 1985.

Anti-Defection Law

Law Coverage

The law covers three kinds of scenarios. – When legislators elected on the ticket of a political party voluntarily give up membership of that party or vote in the legislature against the party’s wishes. – When an MP/MLA who has been elected as an independent joins a party later. – When nominated legislators join a political party after six months of being appointed to the House.

– The law allows a group of two-third MP/MLAs to join (i.e. merger) another political party without inviting the penalty for defection. – For instance, in 2019, all six MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party in Rajasthan joined the Congress.



The law does not provide a time-frame within which the presiding officer has to decide a defection case.

Defection by legislators occurs in many democracies. It can be argued that they can undermine the stability of the cabinet, which is dependent on the support of elected legislators.